AS USUAL THIS REVIEW WILL NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS
First touted as a spin off for Hispanic audiences this project was first teased in American cinemas after the credit sequence of Paranormal Activity 4. Originally called Paranormal Activity: The Oxnard Diaries the film was renamed The Marked Ones and released on January 1st in the UK and the 3rd everywhere else. There was little to no press or TV advertising for the film, I myself only came upon the first mention of the film on the 23rd of December.
Written and directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Acitivity 2,3,4 & Disturbia) this film sees a whole new group of characters led by Jesse; who is seen graduating high school in the early part of the movie. The death of a mysterious neighbour, Anna, prompts the group to investigate the house. Jesse begins to exhibit supernatural powers such as telekinetic abilities and discovers what looks like a bite mark on his arm. A change in personality and mysterious signs point to Jesse being part of something bigger, something darker.
There are nods and hints towards the previous films with the inclusion of Kate and Micah from the first two parts as well as Ali from the 3rd part. Without giving away too much there is a, in my opinion, big plot point finally explained towards the end of the film that would explain some of the events leading to Katies transformation into the demon.
Whilst I have felt that the Paranormal Activity series is beginning to lose a little steam now that 5 films have been produced, The Marked Ones, has brought a little bit of life back to the series. The inclusion of additional players and key characters to the series has brought a slightly different dynamic to the found footage/possesion genre. the film itself is not the prototypical found footage horror that audiences have been used to seeing in the previous installments. The gore and violence has been turned down slightly in favour of a more supernatural spin on the series which I enjoyed. However I do feel that there cannot be many more avenues for this series to travel down without beginning a completely new story with mostly new characters, as was teased with the Insidious story at the end of the 2nd film. Overall a good, not great, film that adds a little bit of intrigue and new life to a series that had seemingly stumbled a little. Check out the trailer below and go and see The Marked Ones in cinemas: