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Published June 29th 2014
It's easy to lose track of how many Paranormal Activity films there are; with every other film varying only slightly. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (I believe this the fifth installment) is yet another sequel to the thriller/horror series that has been making nothing but profit since its first release; where a low budget and handheld cameras spurred millions in ticket sales internationally.
It seems that the intention for this latest film is to link and make sense of the rest that came before it. In typical horror movie style, the action starts at a very slow boil, in what eventually heats up and finally overspills - PA is no different from this convention.
Director/writer Christopher Landon indeed does a better job at giving the audience what they want in The Marked Ones; pumping more drama and action in towards the latter end of the film, rather than teasing viewers for a full hour and a half without a conclusion, resolution or satisfaction.
The Marked Ones feels like it's significant in comparison to Paranormal Activity 4, which is shockingly bad. Landon needs to assert some quality control within his films if longevity is the goal rather than the money.
PA's crutch is that it is fun to watch, especially with a partner or group of friends, annoyingly so… as most of Landon's PA films leave an unsavoury taste in the mouth; like buying food on an empty stomach that only serves to frustrate your tastebuds. Paranormal Activity needed to show viewers some sort of endgame or reason as to why they are watching another family haunted and possessed by demons. I wouldn't say PA is a hate it or love it type film, but rather more like an embarrassing addiction; an addiction where you yearn for a sense of filmic euphoria that simply cannot be fulfilled.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones starts with the lead character Jesse (Andrew Jacobs), who is celebrating his graduation from college with his family and best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz).
Everything seems well and pleasant, but knowing that the film you are watching is called Paranormal Activity and not Driving Ms. Daisy encourages you to prepare for the worst; the narrative quickly deteriorates the social ideals and introduces the fear factor element.
In conclusion Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones doesn't give any film enthusiast goosebumps or film goer a particular reason to watch. The director and writers should use this film as a building block to improve from, since the fanbase is there, however reluctant or frustrated they may be.