On Friday the 13th, 13 U.S. cities and 13 countries screened Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones early. T-shirts were given to lucky attendees, and hooded monks blessed audiences with a protection prayer prior to the film’s start.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones detours from the main story we’ve become accustomed to with the first four films and shakes up the pattern audiences have come to recognize. Instead, we follow Jesse, recent high school graduate in Oxford, California, as he celebrates with family and friends in a cramped apartment complex. Enamored with a family member’s camera, he uses his graduation money to buy one of his own and films his everyday life with his best friend, Hector. Hector and Jesse begin using the camera as a means of entertainment now that school is done.
When a downstairs neighbor suffers an untimely fate, Jesse and Hector make the rash decision to explore the abandoned apartment. Suffice to say things start spiraling downward fast when Jesse wakes up the next morning and discovers a strange bite mark on his arm.
The Marked Ones injects a lot of humor into the series. Jesse and Hector endeared themselves to the audience early on with their sense of humor, making audiences all the more invested in his family’s fight to save him. Also new to the series is the quicker pacing and lack of the tell tale crescendo of sound to indicate an upcoming jump scare. That’s not to say that this movie doesn’t effectively build tension, oh it does, but those jump scares are no longer announced a mile away. Though set in a new city with new characters, this film does tie directly into the series. Poor lone survivor Ali, from Paranormal Activity 2, makes a brief appearance at one point to offer some answers.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones breathes new life into a series that seemed to be on a decline and is a clever addition to the franchise. Target audiences will love this film.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is out in theaters January 3rd.