Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones (2014) Movie Review
Released : Jan. 3rd, 2014
Reviewed : Jan. 18th, 2014
Genre : Horror
Production Company : Paramount Studio
Length : 84 Minutes
(May Contain Story Spoilers!)
With 2014 bring two new Paranormal Activity films, we start the new year with PA : The Marked Ones which is a side story to the series. Now does it hold up or fall short as I believe every other movie in the series has? I’ll give you a hint , it keeps the films track record intact.
The film follows Jesse who after having his graduation party soon finds bite marks on his arm one day after waking up. Soon after the lady that lives below his family is no sooner killed and Jesse starts to realize that what is happening to him may not only be changing him but messing with those around him as well. That is the basic set up for this film. Once the film gets going we are thrown into a story involving satanic rituals and a witch cult that curses the first born child’s. Since this is a side story almost to the main series that angle this time is that we are following a Hispanic family throughout with Jesse using the camera he borrowed. They make sure they let you know that he is using a camera so the film is shakier than others. One gripe though is that especially throughout the first 1/4th of the film or so there are a handful of scenes spoken in Spainish with no subtitles. One can only assume that what is said bares no strong importance to the story but subtitles would have been nice.
Now to start with the problems of this story, in short the majority of it either leads to no where. As with most films from this series they bite off more than they can chew and with how the series continues I feel like most questions will never be answered. They throw in symbols and talk about how special children are marked but don’t explain too much. For instance one scene very briefly mentions how a special door in a bad place can be used as a portal to almost time travel. If you missed it though at the end when the film intervenes with another film from the series in a scene that had originally never happened than you will be lost. Though by that time you’ll already be lost enough to have stopped caring. That is the problem with this film (and series), we get so much in this film including a throwback to the main series but never learn about it.
Don’t go into this looking for some scares either as this film does almost nothing to try to scare you. There are a few jump scenes that are usually so drawn out that you see them coming with a few of them being shown in the previews to the point where when the time comes you already know what to expect. What helped the film series though is that the end usually pulled a good enough moment to warrant some of the time spent. Not this film though as the end turns into a action scene / chase scene before leading into something that will leave you baffled then aggravated.
Acting has never been a strong suit for the series either and nothing changes here. Andrew Jacobs is okay as Jesse and leads the film decently at times overdoing it though. Jorge Diaz and Gabrielle Walsh as Jesses’ best friend help pull some scenes through but never are there any standout moments from acting. That is to be expected though.
Overall as usual there really isn’t much here to come watch. The story continues to add more questions than it answers, seems to try to get less scary, and does little to make the viewing experience worth while. Wait till the end of the year when Paranormal Activity 5 comes out to see how jumbled they continue to make this. Unless your a young teenager or something that finds these films fun and scary there really isn’t much to keep you watching.