Film Review – Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Unrated Version) (2014)

Anyone bored of the Paranormal Activity franchise yet? Nah, me neither. The original film still stands as one of the best examples in the ‘found footage’ genre ever made, and though the sequels have been getting progressively weaker, there’s life in the old dog yet. Box office receipts are rarely a sure-fire indication of quality. But whilst being made on a budget of around $5 million, this fifth instalment of the series written and directed by Christopher B. Landon, went on to rake in over $90m earlier this year, proving there is still a massive market for this oft-maligned brand of film-making. People love good scares, and ever since The Blair Witch Project, this method has proved the most effective method at delivering them.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Seen through the lens of a camera main protagonist Jesse bought in a pawn shop, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, opens at a high school graduation party. Jesse lives with his father and grandmother in an apartment complex above a woman everyone thinks is a witch. One night, the woman is murdered, and Jesse and his friend break into her apartment to find out ‘what it looks like.’ Yes, I know. But without the stupid people, we wouldn’t have horror films, so lets forgive them for now. Inside the apartment they find some witchcraft-related paraphernalia, books of spells, and some VHS tapes, one of which apparently documents the childhood of Katie and Kristi from Paranormal Activity 3, which was a nice touch and made for a little consistency.

After the ill-advised foray into the murdered woman’s apartment, Jesse finds a strange bite-like mark on his arm and begins to display some pretty impressive superhuman powers, all of which are (of course) documented on camera. After a while, it becomes glaringly obvious that something is up with the poor boy, and as he delves deeper into the mystery he discovers that he (and others like him) are at the centre of it all.

This extended (aka Unrated) cut adds around 16 minutes to the original theatrical version, both available on paramount Home entertainment, but none are essential to the plot. Which is probably why they were cut in the first place. It never quite hits the heights of the first couple of Paranormal Activity films, the plots are becoming increasingly lightweight and unbelievable, but the way the film is delivered and the atmosphere it creates just about makes up for any shortcomings.

The original version of this review is taken from issue 26 of Morpheus Tales magazine:

http://morpheustales.wix.com/morpheustales

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About cmsaunders

I am a writer. I write. My dark fiction has appeared in Asphalt Jungle, Raw Nerve, Roadworks, Dark Valentine, Screams of Terror, Shallow Graves, Fantastic Horror, Unbroken Water and several anthologies. My first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published in 2003, and I have also worked extensively in the freelance journalism industry, contributing features to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Bizarre, Urban Ink, Loaded, Record Collector, Maxim, Nuts, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. I lived in China for over five years where I taught English during my search for enlightenment, before moving back to the UK in January 2013 to work for a men's lifestyle magazine. I was senior writer on Forever Sports magazine and associate editor at Coach magazine, before leaving to chance my arm in the world of pro freelance. In recent times I have devoted more time to dark fiction, my latest offerings being the contemporary ghost story Sker House and No Man's Land: Horror in the Trenches. I am represented by Media Bitch Literary Agency and drink far too much coffee. View all posts by cmsaunders

3 responses to “Film Review – Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Unrated Version) (2014)

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