Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review: The Franchise Still Has Some Life

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Found footage has become so gimmicky that it’s hard to even criticize anymore. Is there any real reason the leads of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones are carrying around a camera? Absolutely not. Do they take the camera into increasingly absurd situations to be carrying around a camera in? Absolutely yes. I just don’t care.

Know why? Because found footage is an incredibly effective way to do horror.

While the plausibility of this spinoff (not to be confused with Paranormal Activity 5 hitting theaters later this year) is hardly at the level of the revolutionary original film, the camera movements and first-person view help transport you into the terror happening all around.

Horror wise, The Marked Ones is the loudest, and therefore cheapest film of the franchise. But cheap thrills occasionally give way for some well-done suspense, making this a step up from the almost franchise killing fourth film.

The story is a fairly straightforward version of the demonic possession story. However, I have to give the filmmakers a lot of credit for using an entirely Latino cast. Genre films like this so rarely feature a cast made up entirely of minorities. In that sense, The Marked Ones is actually pretty significant. Minorities so rarely get cast in movies to talk about anything besides being a minority. Sometimes the horror genre forgets that white people aren’t the only ones who can experience fear.

Other than that though, this is mostly a middle-0f-the-road affair. The Marked Ones is a perfectly serviceable horror film that once again uses the found footage gimmick effectively. It’s hardly the best of the franchise, but it’ll do. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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