Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth and inevitably not the final film in the famous found footage series. The film follows the story of the two best friends who have recently graduated from high school, Jessie and Hector. When Jessie's downstairs neighbour mysteriously dies the two friends go to investigate. They discover the woman downstairs was part of a cult that performs ancient demonic rituals on unborn babies - one of which was Jessie.
Coming from a fan of the first three Paranormal Activity films I can honestly say I was disappointed with this film. I'm a huge fan of this series although everyone can agree that the fourth film was somewhat of a let down. The first three films in the series were gripping, thrilling and scary. They were excellent horror films. Now the series just continues to make more and more sequels because the films make hundreds of millions dollars when they are released. The series is taking a turn for the worst and they're getting dumber and dumber and dumber.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones failed to get my heart racing. I really wanted to say that it failed to be scary, but that's not true. There were around two or three moments that I jumped in. One of which I jumped at not because of a loud sound bellowing throughout the cinema. The film is jump scare galore, much like the fourth film. What I love about the first three films is that they weren't full of jump scares; they had lots of slow, dark and creepy scenes that had my heart pumping out of my chest. A lot of the scares in the film are really predictable too. You can tell exactly when something or somebody is going to pop out and this, of course, makes the film not quite as disturbing.
There is way too much humour for a horror film. Every film needs a bit of humour now and then, but making a horror film with more humour than horror isn't the way to go. When the film starts out I actually enjoyed it quite a fair bit because it was like a dumb home video with dumb people doing dumb things and I thought it was funny, but I thought that this would end soon. I was wrong. The film was still making plenty of jokes a fair way into the film. I'm afraid I have to admit that some of these jokes were pretty funny, but hardly any of them were necessary to the film.
The main characters in the film are completely oblivious to everything going on around them. When Jessie is marked they kind of just shrug it off like it was nothing. He soon gains these kind of powers and they're playing around with the powers and neither of them find it the least bit suspicious that all of a sudden they can do this superhuman things. In fact the first thing they do after playing around with it is post a video of it on YouTube and to make it worse they complain when people call it fake. That's just one example of how idiotic the protagonists are in this movie.
This new installment turned the franchise into more of an action film. Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph Jessie gains all these cool Chronicle like powers which him and Hector believe to be pretty normal. The film tries to 'shock' you by making him do all these violent and action movie like things that don't bring the story any further forward. There is also one scene near the end, I won't spoil it but you will know it when you see it, that's so over the top, dumb and out of place. It's a full on action scene in the midsts of what could have been one of the first fully creepy scenes.
The ending tries to tie the film into the original trilogy, but doing this doesn't quite work out. WARNING I WILL TALK ABOUT SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH! The finale to all the Paranormal Activity films are always unexpected and usually the best part of the whole film. In The Marked Ones the ending is pretty unexpected, but it did what my main issue with Insidious 2 was. Insidious: Chapter 2 showed a lot of explanations to the scares that occurred in the first film and so when I went to re-watch the first film I didn't find it nearly as scary. In the ending of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones they go back in time to an unholy pace which is of course Katie and Micah's house from the very first film. The ending of the first film was creepy because we didn't know what was going on downstairs. All we could hear were noises then BAM! We see the aftermath of those noises. The new film gives an explanation of what all those noises were and to be honest it was baaaad. I will not look back at the first film and not be scared in any way by the ending.
To sum up Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a real let down. It's not very frightening, there's more humour than scares, the protagonists are oblivious to everything, it's more of an action film and the ending is just weird.
(a low) 2 Stars