4 Jan 2014

'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' Review

Katie Strikes Back... Again.

Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Christopher Landon
Stars: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh
Running Time: 84 mins
Sub-Genre: Supernatural, Witches, Possession, Sequel
Release: January 2014

Jessie begins experiencing a number of disturbing and explainable things after the death of his neighbor. As he investigates, it isn't long before Jessie finds he's been marked for possession by a malevolent demonic entity, and it's only a matter of time before he is completely under its control.

Paranormal Activity has come a long way since the first which re-invented the found-footage sub-genre installing a sense of unbearable fear which made it so famous and iconic. Of course after bringing in a fantastic amount of cash (over $100 million world wide) it was obvious sequels were going to unfold. They did, and as the franchise grew older so did the scares leaving the franchise at a bottomless pit by the time Paranormal Activity 4 had reached its end credits. Luckily for the franchise another came and pulled out the nail that was driven into its coffin by the 4th installment, and that was number 5; or The Marked Ones to all those who seen it as a spin-off (*cough* ...me *cough*).

Taking a break from the high life in the beautiful side of America, The Marked One takes us on an adventurous journey through the thug-life of the US, immediately establishing its fresh start to the franchise; although it starts off just as tedious and cliched as the rest, the change of scenery adds a slight burst of fresh air, not much but enough to stop you from rolling your eyes from the very second it begins. Listen, it isn't entirely different but its better than what the last few installments have been giving us.

Rejecting the style of the franchise and adapting the new face of supernatural horror, The Marked Ones seems to play around with its own demeanor, mocking its own routine whilst managing to capture the scares that made the franchise ever so popular. Surprisingly, it takes a more fun approach adapting with a silliness to a series that took itself way too serious for its own good. The Marked Ones doesn't loose its momentum with the scares at expense of the humor, but instead works hand-in-hand with it, giving you a laugh right after a scream. Sure, it does all become a little off-putting from time-to-time due to its structural mishaps, but The Marked Ones luckily and surprisingly rarely goes wrong.

The actors make it funny, the shocking burst of horror makes it scary, and the twisted plot that is ended superbly makes it smart. Too often however we are exposed to some ridiculous character moves that make us regret liking them in the first place, and often the group don't click, making for (at times) an awkward encounter to watch. Fortunately The Marked Ones is stuffed with enough relentless terror to keep us glued, and with its constant narrative twists (that would feel wrong to spoil) you cant help but notice that this feels just as much like a sequel than the previous follow-ups, if not more, regardless of its "Spin-off" status. This factor may not be as played about with as much as Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead Remake (which was basically a remake, yet it featured Ash at the end saying "groovy" ?) but it still works and it works very well. Not exactly what you would call a "Return to form", but compared to Part 4 and in some cases Part 2 it looks great.

VERDICT: Just when you thought Paranormal Activity had driven its final nail into its coffin, The Marked Ones proves that there is still fresh life in the tedious franchise, and although it proves to be nothing substantial, it still makes for a fun and scary watch.


  1. Nice review Jack. I'm a sucker for these movies, but even I was a bit disappointed by this one. Let's hope that the fifth one finds a way to connect more to the mythology, while also give us the goods on what we want to see and even throw a bit of surprises in there as well.

    1. Thanks Dan! Yeah you know i complain about the franchise yet id be the first in line to see them you know? Well maybe i liked this one so much because i hated the 4th a lot, i dont know, but for a cold winters night it made for a good watch.



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