Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

23:53, Jan 30 2014
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
BOO: Still from the film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.

Anything would be an improvement over the 2012 Nevadan-based crime against cinema that was Paranormal Activity 4.

Despite a change of location, it offered up the same tortuous formula of domestic drudgery and long sequences of people sleeping that had bored all right thinking moviegoers to tears since the found-footage-of-demonic-possession franchise first burst onto the scene in 2007.

However, like the lives of the graduating class of Oxnard, California's Lincoln High School whose ceremony opens this latest Paranormal effort, writer-director Christopher Landon's (son of Highway to Heaven's Michael) script does genuinely offer a new chapter.

Billed as a spin-off rather than a direct sequel, this Latino-community set story actually feels closer to 2012's Chronicle and noughties Japanese horror films as our "hero" Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) finds himself suddenly possessing superpowers (cue Dynamo-esque walking and fast-inflating airbeds), sprouting random hairs and getting rather ridiculously aggressive.

As well as clearly targeting America's horror-loving Latino market, The Marked Ones also seems to be repositioning the franchise towards a new crop of teenage boys.

Here the lads use their newly minted camera to spy on naked neighbours, capture singing grandmas and dancing dogs and perform all sorts of Jackass-style antics.


They also stumble upon their high school valedictorian leaving the scene of a murder which is how the whole demonic possession gets underway here.

But how it all manages to eventually connect the dots to the original story of Katie and Micah is about as murky as the general art direction of this film but at least this time around it's done with a little bit of humour (the use of a Simon game as a connection to the spirit world is inspired) and chutzpah.

Directed by Christopher Landon