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Horror Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
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Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Genre Horror

The Paranormal Activity franchise has been running strong for a good few years now, churning out a new found footage film every year. The concept of a handheld camera film has been played to death ever since The Blair Witch Project, but the flagging "what goes bump at night" series manages to make a profitable money grab at the box office, something most films fail to do.

The series has thrived on the novelty and scare factor of the first film. Oren Peli's inspiring low budget vision has sparked a found footage revolution. Every film has been made on a "shoestring" budget, according to today's industry standards, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is no different, despite being about a hundred times more expensive than the first one.

The new installation tracks an 18 year old boy, who begins experiencing disturbing and in-explainable events following the death of an apartment block neighbour. While the latest installation is a reinvention with the story taking place in a new neighborhood with a distinct Latino flavor, the filmmakers have kept very close to the Paranormal Activity formula.

This keeps the film within the Paranormal Activity family of films. The visual effects are an improvement on the original and while a tad cliched, writer-director Christopher Landon, manages to keep this horror-thriller fresh and taut.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones stars Andrew Jacobs as Jesse. The actor is likable, with a slight resemblance to Taylor Lautner, and makes the gradual transition believable. He's supported by his buddy and cameraman, Jorge Diaz and apartment block girl friend, Gabrielle Walsh.

If you've seen any of the previous Paranormal Activity films, you'll know what to expect. Unlike the previous films, The Marked Ones steeps itself in Mexican culture and tradition. This adds an extra layer to the film and the characters.

Landon wrote most of the previous Paranormal Activity screenplays and has been influenced by story elements from superhero found footage film, Chronicle, and on the beat police crime thriller, End of Watch. Jessie's progressive possession and the fooling around with YouTube powers are a tip of the hat to Chronicle, while the LA gangland scenario and on-the-beat investigations echo End f Watch.

It's an interesting blend of ideas, which dilute the horror to deliver a mixed bag of genres. The end result may not be as effective as the scares in Paranormal Activity, but it remains dark, entertaining and an unsettling buddy movie.

If you've watched all the Paranormal Activity films up till now, you'll find The Marked Ones familiar and just as nebulous as the previous sequels. While it almost feels like a complete spin-off, The Marked Ones justifies its position within the franchise stable by linking up with the previous films. It does seem to drag towards the end with echoes from previous sequels, but at 84 minutes it doesn't overstay it's welcome.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones will probably be much more effective for those unfamiliar with the found footage formula of the series, yet it's as good as buying a different flavour variant of a product you already like. It has everything you like about Paranormal Activity, but the Latino edge gives it enough spice to make it slightly different.

6.00/10 ( 1 Vote )
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