PARANORMAL ACTIVITY : The Marked Ones
With Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh, Richard Cabral, Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
For this 5th installment of the highly popular Paranormal Activity franchise, as with other trends like Saw and Final Destination, many have been wondering whether this well explored premise still has substantial legs.
Originally titled The Oxnard Tapes in reference to the location of the events (but sounding a bit like bovine testicles), The Marked Ones has original producer Oren Peli still on board, and manages to keep the momentum going and tying in some events and locations of earlier chapters.
With a cultural shift in a more Hispanic area of California, Jesse, a recent graduate investigate a longtime neighbour's apartment with his friend after she is murdered, the video camera constantly rolling (It is believed she was killed by a respected classmate of Jesse's). But, they leave the apartment with more than just a mischievous thrill - something has attached itself to Jesse. He starts to discover inexplicable powers from incredible strength to levitating. The fun soon turns dark and ugly when Jesse discovers the truth behind his murdered neighbour and links to earlier Paranormal Activity characters and events. His personality starts to change into something menacing and it is up to his friends and grandmother to try and save his soul (and their own lives) - This will not be easy.
Director Landon has been along for the Paranormal ride since the 2nd movie, in both producer and writer capacity, here taking a swing at helming it, and managing to keep the viewer engaged for one more trip.
The found footage / handicam / cell phone horror genre is now well established and inherently diminishes the opportunities for composers to get involved, but at the same time saves the production money in that department. This also puts the pressure on the filmmakers to scare the audience without the aide of musical tension building and shock stings at its climax.
3 / B
Click below for more Paranormal Activity movies & similar found footage chillers
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished