Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) – Review

Another addition to the Paranormal Activity series is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. It deceitfully leads you to believe that it has nothing to do with the paranormal activity quadrilogy, as the story revolves around three curious and carefree high school graduates, who play detectives when a crazy neighbor gets murdered.

Jesse’s ( Andrew Jacobs ) graduation marks the beginning of a series of bizarre incidents that will culminate in the final twist, which will leave the clueless viewers – as myself – speechless. After the ceremony, Jesse and his family start the celebrations in a warm and joyful setting in the backyard of their block of flats. Joking around and talking about crazy Anna, the so-called brucha (witch) is one thing to keep in mind.

The next day, Jesse buys himself a present, a high quality video camera and immediately starts recording everything, from the street outside his house to his goofy friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) and his childish pranks. They both get carried away and decide to spy on Anna, hanging the video camera through the air vent that connects Jesse’s apartment to Anna’s downstairs. What started as a playful game, ended with a strange sight; Anna painting a weird symbol on the naked body of an unknown woman.

Things get really serious when Anna is found dead in her apartment after Oscar, one of Jesse’s classmates murders her. There is only one thing for Jesse and Hector to do. Grab the camera and break into her apartment. In there, they find a notebook with Anna’s notes and strange pictures of rituals.

The two friends tell everything to Marisol, their old friend and neighbor, and they stupidly decide to go to a church, late at night and perform a ritual written in Anna’s notebook.

And that’s when the good stuff starts.

At first, nothing seems to happen, but later on, Jesse sees bite marks on his arm and at the same time realises he has gained super powers. He becomes untouchable and extremely strong. He defies gravity and feels fearless. But that’s only the start of his decay. As the days pass by, his face becomes pale, dark circles appear under his eyes and his lips become really dry – nothing original there.

That’s when everything becomes clear; the truth behind Anna’s rituals, the secret basement under her apartment filled with creepy symbols, and the strange bite marks. It’s final, Jesse is possessed. There is an interesting twist here. In relevant films, the characters often turn to a ouija board for help. In this case, our three friends turn to a more colorful and childish version of that, which resembles a child’s toy. The green light means “yes”, whereas the red one means “no”. So when Jesse asks if they are alone in the room and the red light goes on, the setting becomes more interesting. And when he asks “Are you good?”, the absence of any answer makes the atmosphere chilling – I guess.

His friends and family are the first ones to taste his wrath as an evil demon is inside him. Hector and Marisol in their effort to save him, find themselves in a secluded location, where The Midwives – evil witches – keep Jesse for the final stage of the ritual.

Surprisingly, the isolated setting is not unknown to the Paranormal Activity fans. If you have missed Katie and Micah, you’ll get a chance to see them once again in the famous final scene, where Katie kills him with a knife.

The director and writer Christopher Landon has clearly many ideas around the paranormal activity topic and is not afraid to put them into action – although I feel his peak moment was Disturbia.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones offers the exact same chilling moments, but certainly less haunting scenes. The first 50 minutes run quite slow, as nothing exciting happens and they mainly work as a long introduction to what’s going to follow. On the contrary, the last 20 minutes are particularly entertaining and thrilling. Evil witches running towards terrified Hector and Jesse’s creepy screams are necessary to create an eerie setting and, in a way, it was successful yet limited.

Interestingly, this movie has something that the other Paranormal Activity films didn’t; guns and eggs to fight the demons.

In general, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is neither a sequel nor a remake of Paranormal Activity. It is a story that stands on its own, although it somehow gets connected to the other stories. It’s quite slow-paced and that might be discouraging, but in the end, the loyal audience of the franchise will be entertained.

 

 

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Comments
4 Responses to “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) – Review”
  1. thycriticman says:

    Was not a fan of this film! I think the only Paranormal that I enjoyed was the third one but that may have been because I was quite drunk when I viewed it. My favorite part of this one was the gun-wielding gangsta dudes.

    SPOILER! SPOILER! I was so sour when one just disappears without telling us what happened to him SPOILER! SPOILER!

    Like

    • maria kriva says:

      Haha! The gun-wielding dudes were…surreal! I think I really loved the eggs that were used to exorcize the demon! That was weird!

      Oh yes I know what you mean! I was thinking about it while I was trying to sleep.. It had just hit me that someone just disappeared!! 😀

      Like

  2. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Maria. Even though I consider myself a diehard fan of these movies, I even found myself struggling a bit with this. Hopefully the franchise can pick itself back up later in the year with that new movie coming out. Hopefully, that is.

    Like

    • maria kriva says:

      Thank you very much! 🙂

      Oh yes, hopefully the next one will be better! I really enjoy the Paranormal Activity franchise, but I am starting to think that maybe it’s time to put an end to it! The more they stretch the story, the worse it might get! I really don’t want to see another “Saw” case…the first ones were amazing…and then it got so exhausting!

      Like

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