Movie Review: “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” Is A Spine-Chilling Experience

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones 1At this point, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” is the grand finale of the supernatural pentology film franchise and deserves a standing ovation. For those who don’t know, the term ‘pentology’ means a series of five and, by the way; a witch's pentagram happens to be the main symbol for these movies. Director and writer Christopher Landon, who helmed the last two sequels, outdid himself with a suspenseful plot and jaw-dropping effects. My heart is still pounding from fear two hours after the ending credits rolled.

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones 2The best aspect of these types of movies is their sense of reality. Since the very first film was created by Oren Peli in 2007, the cast members have always been unknown actors. With handheld cameras and a home video directing style, audiences feel as if they are watching moments in real people’s lives. It all started with a young couple from Southern California who began filming their every move. Talking, eating, sleeping, etc. After watching the footage, they learned that there was something in their home. It was demonic and casting a dark cloud over the protagonist, Katie.

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones 3Without giving too much away, the next two sequels took us back in time; teaching us that the demons have always been in Katie’s life. The fifth film of the franchise is an imaginative extension of the original story. Following eighteen year-old Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) who just graduated from high school, he and his best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) are your typical immature adolescents, filming dangerous stunts and sneaking around places they shouldn’t. As the saying goes, ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ The story takes a thrilling and horrifying turn after Hector, Jesse and their sidekick, Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh) delve too deep into their dead neighbor’s history. They discover that Jesse was meant to be part of a much bigger paranormal plan.

paranormal Activity The Marked Ones 4Newcomers, Andrew Jacobs and Jorge Diaz are scene stealers. The movie provides enough comic relief to keep you laughing throughout, and plenty of spine-chilling surprises to make you scream. To me, that is what makes a great horror film. Kudos to the visual effects supervisor, Ryan Tudhope for creating terrifying moments that may continue to haunt you in your sleep. Just when you least expect it, a terrifying sight slams you in the face. And even when you do expect it, it still startles the bejabbers out of you.

I may be an enthusiast of these films (for the record, I was not a great admirer of the fourth sequel), but ‘The Marked Ones’ cleverly connects the dots between all five plots. And fortunately for those who haven’t seen the first four movies, this story stands just fine on its own as well.

Blumhouse Productions, responsible for horror movies and thrillers such as “Sinister,” “Insidious” and “The Purge” are at the top of the ‘scream team’ list. “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” is another notch on their belt.

By Pamela Price

“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” opens in theaters nationwide January 3rd, 2014. Rated R.


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