Sunday, January 5, 2014

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Busby's Review)

I have to admit something; Paranormal Activity is my guilty pleasure.  Ever since I seen the very first movie I fell in love with it.  I LOVED everything about the first one, and if I had it my way, that would have been the only one.  I really didn’t think a movie like that would make a good sequel.  I mean hell, ask the creators of the Blair Witch Project.  But some how some way, the creators of the Paranormal Activity franchise have managed to put out 3 sequels that were good, entertaining, and sometimes disappointing. The movie created a huge fan base and has grossed millions of dollars at the box office.  It became everybody’s guilty pleasure and they couldn’t help but to see what happens next and to see what else the creators can come up with to keep the scares coming.

Now for this 5th installment, the found footage creators wanted to take the movie into a different direction. Instead of continuing the story of Katie and Kristi’s family, this new chapter expands the world and mythology of the series.  Even though this is not labeled Paranormal Activity 5, this side story of the series reveals that there is something quite bigger going on then just a demon tormenting a family.  Welcome to the demonic world of The Marked Ones.

The Marked Ones takes place in the summer of 2013 in Oxnard, California. It tells the story of Jesse (Andrew Jacobs), a young 18 year old who just graduated high school and begins his summer vacation.  After getting a new camera, him and his friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) start filming their daily hijinks along with their friend Marisoi (Gabrielle Walsh).  However, after the mysterious death of his strange neighbor Anna.  Jesse wakes up one morning with a bite mark that mysteriously appears on his arm.  Soon after that, strange and disturbing things start happening around him.  After investigating further he finds out he has been marked by a demonic spirit, and it is just a matter of time before Jesse is under its full control.

The Marked Ones put the Paranormal Activity series back on track.  After the disappointing PA4, writer Christopher Landon and directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman did an excellent job on expanding the story and keeping the franchise fresh.  Everything about this movie is fresh, from the likeable characters, all the way down to the scares.  No more viewing the cameras and seeing what happens at night when the characters sleep.  This time the jump scares are much more in your face, and it could happen at any time, rather it’s day or night.  Even though the scares didn’t really pack the same punch the previous movies had, they still served its purpose.  I also liked how you would slowly see the transformation of the Jesse character.  He goes from a very likeable guy to a very aggressive and evil person.  He did it quite well and it was very believable along with the other characters.

This movie also answered questions and revisited characters from the previous movies as well.  If you paid close attention to certain things that have been said or done in the last few movies, you would pick up on certain things right away.  Now the main thing I liked about this movie was the ending.  Without giving much away, all I can say is that if you have been a fan of the Paranormal Activity movies since the very beginning, you would absolutely appreciate and LOVE this ending.  It was pretty genius, and it’s a good way to expand the Paranormal Activity universe and bring it to new heights.

All in all, The Marked Ones was steps WAY ahead of PA4 and it was a step in the right direction of the series.  Even though the movie answered some very important questions, it also raised a whole bunch of new ones.  Hopefully those questions will be answered in Paranormal Activity 5, which is going to be released later on in October.  Personally I feel this next one needs to be the last one before the movie starts going all over the place (which it kinda is already). But if this film is a sign of things to come, then the Paranormal Activity franchise is going to be around for at least a few more years.

Busby's Review: 4/5

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