September 27, 2020

BY COLE FROUDE

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth entry into the found footage franchise, giving fans more scares.  However, despite expanding the back story the film doesn’t move the franchise’s storyline forward.

Found footage, according to Wikipedia, is a genre of film making, especially horror, in which all or a substantial part of a film is presented as discovered film or video recordings, often left behind by missing or dead protagonists. The events on screen are seen through the camera of one or more of the characters involved, who often speaks off screen.

This Latino spinoff centres around two best friends, Jesse and Hector, who are really likeable. You get a sense that they have known each other their whole lives. The two  break into a house in which a witch died and Jessie gets a weird bite mark causing him to be marked. This means he gets super human strength but he soon learns the horrible truth of being marked.

Writer Christopher Landon, who also wrote the second, third and fourth films takes a stab at directing this one and nails it for the most part. Landon’s timing with the scares are spot on after carefully crafting a suspenseful scene. Marked Ones also drops a lot of clues, hints and familiar sights for longtime fans of the franchise so they can sit there and put the puzzle pieces together in an attempt to unlock the mystery of being marked.

Landon has also addressed complaints about the previous films by throwing a bunch of humour into this one so people won’t complain that it’s boring. However, the humour feels really out of place, as it is too much for the given subject matter.

The special effects are well done but took me out of the film because the reason why the originals were so scary was that you believed this could happen. The bumps and bangs at home at night would prey on you way after the credits had rolled, making you get up at night and question everything you heard.  This film just doesn’t do that.

Marked Ones does feature a cool ending that fans will enjoy but if you start thinking about the ending and what happened in the previous films you will find a plot hole that doesn’t make sense and ruins the ending.

Marked Ones is a strong entry into the five-year-old franchise but it is suffering from franchise fatigue. It’s still worth the price of admission for fans but won’t win over the average moviegoer.

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