Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) – Review
Add a little spice in your life with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Written and Directed by: Christopher Landon
Taking place in gritty Oxnard California, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones follows a newly graduated high school senior. With the death of his neighbor and witnessing someone fleeing the scene, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) is compelled to search for answers. While he and his friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) investigate, Jesse discovers he has been marked by evil. An evil that with each passing day is taking away any control he once had. Through the eyes of handheld camcorder, they document the strange events unfolding around them. The found footage style of filming makes for a solid first person account of all that befalls the pair.
In its first night in theaters, The Marked Ones racked in a reasonable 1.2 million. Though off to a slow start, it is still expected to bring in around 15 to 20 million opening weekend. This will make it a contender with the current front runners – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Frozen. In any business it’s smart to look at the numbers. It’s even smarter to work your appeal. This is one reason why I think this newest installment stands a chance. Straying off course from the Paranormal Activity series, The Marked Ones is flaunting that appeal. Gearing toward the current U.S. movie going demographic and one not often represented onscreen – the Hispanic demographic, and it’s a smart move.
Though not actually considered Paranormal Activity 5 (which releases in Oct. 2014), The Marked Ones can be tied to events from other chapters. We see its association with the original Paranormal Activity while at the same time it sheds light on the mysterious cult of women in Paranormal Activity 4. I found this helpful having had questions of my own after viewing both. The Marked Ones has been described as more of a spin-off from the series. A cousin to the family if you will. Having seen all of the Paranormal Activity movies and growing tired of their repetitious nature, I was satisfied with this redirection. It is like a breath of fresh air.
In comparison with the others it wasn’t as predictable. In fact it was hardly predictable at all. I watched the trailer once before going in so I had my ideas. However, it was only the tip of the iceberg. One can appreciate that lack of predictability. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It keeps you glued to the moment at hand. This way you aren’t busy shrugging each scene off, hoping the next one will satisfy your ticket expense.
As for the fear factor, it was there. It wasn’t teaming with terror, but with not always knowing what came next and the excitement that comes with that unknown, even I jumped a few times when shit hit the fan. With that being said, I am pretty sure someone literally crapped their pants *points to moviegoer a few seats over*. Those moments of fright were equally balanced with a tag team duo of comedy in our lead characters; whose playful dynamic calmed us before each storm. That positive and negative kept the audience on an emotional roller coaster throughout the entirety of the film.
So for those of you out there who aren’t sold on The Marked Ones, those of you who lost interest after Paranormal Activity 4 made its debut, I’d say give this newest release a shot. It isn’t as conventional and yes, you probably aren’t familiar with the actors, but these are only two of many reasons why it is worth a watch.
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10