Paranormal Activity – The Marked ones (2014) Review

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Well the Paranormal Activity franchise continues to roll forward despite no really asked it to, over the years we have learned two key rules from these films 1) Demons are dicks, playing games for weeks before they finally get bored and kill their victim and 2) no matter how horrible things get, no matter how blood soaked and gruesome events become, never stop recording!

With the sixth installment out now in cinemas, here i take a look at the fifth sequel of the shaky cam, found footage horror. So this starts out as a teenage bromance between young Jesse and Hector, they are Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool, and all shootin some b-ball outside of the school. When a demon who is up to no good, Started making trouble their neighborhood. They got in one little fight and their nana got scared. Then she went ahead and got pushed down the stairs.

As you would expect this follows in the same style of the previous films, as ghostly going on’s become more regular just after the main character buys a video camera (coincidence!) based in 2012 this takes place at the same time as the events of the first Paranormal Activity.

The shaky cam is in full motion here, which at points rather than creating a sense of realism is just plain overkill and frustrating (why pay for a film if you can barley see whats is going on half the time?), The teens discover the ghostly goings on and decide to push a little further by communicating via the medium of a Bop it toy (no seriously that happens) with horrific results.

This film can be summed up in one word “Silly” between the very annoying characters, the shaky footage and the desperate attempt to make this film tie in with the previous ones, it just doesn’t work here. when a franchise is based entirely on jump scares, it will need depth to carry it on, but there is none here, its the same demon, in the same neighborhood, with the same tricks.

The only surprising piece of this film is when Hector busts in on the ending of the original Paranormal, with a brief cameo from Katie and Micah (like i said, same neighborhood) this comes far too late to save this film and in turn just damages the only half decent entry from the series altering the ending slightly.

The practical effects are what you would expect by now, but here they begin to use visual effects which defeats the purpose of the found footage genre. We are meant to believe what we are watching has really been captured, but when special effects are clearly added it discredits this entirely.

There are some odd moments in this film, such as in 2012 an eighteen year old Jesse with a R-Kelly reference is right up there, it was at this moment i thought this was set in the 1990’s, if this done to throw the viewer off what year it is then well done to you (the only time i will compliment this film).

Over all i award this film 1/5 Stars (the one being for the surprising end cameo)

As seen in the sixth installment’s trailer “The Ghost Dimension 3D” the series is starting to heavily rely on special effects, totally undermining what the franchise was meant to be. This has gone on four films too many, now coming across as unoriginal and just a cheap way to cash in each Halloween.

What are your thoughts on the franchise? has it had its day or is it still on a roll?

Your thoughts and feedback are welcome here, on Twitter @CongertonLee or on the facebook page Film and TV Nerd (https://www.facebook.com/Film-and-TV-nerd-153856841337393/?ref=hl)

Thank you all for reading

Lee Congerton

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