Last year came and went without any progression of the Paranormal Activity behemoth in cinemas. There was a teaser for this “Latin-American oriented” spin-off in the credits of 2012’s Paranormal Activity 4, but it was pushed back from its original release date to the now-lucrative horror month of January.
And so, The Marked Ones serves as the series’ first offering of 2014, with Paranormal Activity 5 to follow on its traditional Halloween-ish release date. The filmmakers have described the spin-off as a “cousin” to the series’ main storyline, set within the same universe.
The setting of “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” is current day LA, where two buddies, Hector (Jorge Diaz) and Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) have just graduated and are in the mood to party.
They are messing around doing “Jackass” type stunts, right where their elderly neighbor lives and the old woman yells at the boys to stop. Later that evening, she winds up dead. The two boys decide to poke about her apartment where they discover items that look as though the woman was into some sort of black magic and demonic practices. The pair get weirded out by all the crazy stuff they’re finding and after getting a scare, they run from the apartment in fright.
After having a nightmare, Jesse wakes up the next morning with a bite-mark on his arm, but he appears to have some sort of new power. He has stringy stuff coming from his eyes and dogs are now scared of him. When a couple of guys try to bully him, they are defeated by the new power that seems to be protecting Jesse, but he’s being taken over and turned into someone evil.
I’m not too sure what I was expecting from the latest in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise, but I did expect a little better. It had all the right ingredients to make it more scary, but it never reached its full potential. Grade: C