Monday, October 6, 2014

The MONTH of HORROR - Day 6: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

I have tried, and tried, and tried but I think I've finally come to the conclusion that found-footage movies are just not for me. It's not that I can't sometimes appreciate, or even respect some of the creativity, or originality on display because I can, and there are good examples of that within the genre (Cloverfield, Chronicle) but I can't buy the premise anymore.

The unfortunate thing about the latest in the ever-growing Paranormal Activity series is that this entry, sub-titled 'The Marked Ones' actually has a fairly interesting story that would have worked so much better in a more straight forward narrative feature. The longer the runtime ran on, the more I kept thinking that shooting this with a handheld camera was completely unnecessary, and there was absolutely no good reason why the characters were running around with these cameras in the first place. I also can never wrap my head around how these fools continue to shoot the action while under intense duress but that's a problem with all found-footage films, not just this one.

For a 'Paranormal Activity' flick, it was refreshing to get out of the house, and move into the projects of LA, following a Latino cast both out on the streets, and inside some of the run down apartments--very nice change of both scenery, and pace. 'The Marked Ones' refers to children who are "marked" from birth by a coven of witches, and upon their 18th birthday, demons will possess their bodies and wreak havoc on all those around them. Alright, sure why not, I've bought into far stranger things in other horror movies before, so I can work with that. While the main character of Jessie (whose name you will come to despise after it's shouted for the umpteenth time) is slowly becoming possessed, he begins to gain some intriguing supernatural powers which actually makes this feel like Josh Trank's 'Chronicle' at times, and those were the scenes I enjoyed the most, by far. Jessie is tossing thugs around like rag dolls, levitating for kicks to impress friends, and even communicating with one of those old Simon games--green for yes, red for no!

I definitely didn't hate this one but I also found it completely unnecessary within the Paranormal Activity canon, and that by the end the filmmakers were trying way too hard to tie this story into past entries. The way in which they do actually tie it into the first movie is ludicrous, and laughably bad; I'm not saying time travel but... okay, I'm saying time travel. Head shakingly stupid.


  1. Yeah. I think the found footage format is popular because it has produced some stellar hits, but also it's extremely cheap to shoot in that format. Saves a lot of time when shooting as well because the camera isn't on a tripod the whole time. But it has to be integral to the story, not just forced. Like you were saying, why would this person still be filming?! It probably won't die for a while, but eventually people will get tired of it.

    1. We can only hope it dies sooner rather than later. Thanks for posting!