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Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
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57 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Starts off promising but quickly falls victim to horror clichés and cheap scares.

Author: Andrew Gold from United States
21 May 2015

I've only seen the first Paranormal Activity so I'm reviewing this as a standalone movie, even though it's actually a spin off or whatever. It's the same premise though - found-footage, teenagers, ghosts, demons, and what have you.

The first 30 or so minutes I was invested in the movie. I really was. I liked the characters, I thought the filmmakers were doing something interesting and fresh, there are some comedic bits thrown around, it was just enjoyable to watch. Then it turns into cliché city. Easy jump scares, stupid mythology that isn't even explained and makes no sense, people running around from room to room with no suspense. It's like halfway through the movie the filmmakers were like "oh crap, this has to be a Paranormal Activity movie. Let's just make a bunch of supernatural crap happen to these characters we developed and wrap this up as quickly as possible". And that's how the entire third act feels: rushed and lazy. It basically went from being an intriguing murder mystery to a generic possession movie.

I won't say it's terrible because I didn't hate myself watching it. It just got really uninteresting really fast. Near the end I was just waiting for it to be over because you know there's not going to be any explanation or any depth to the story at that point. You just want these stupid jump scares to stop so you can go about your life not watching this movie. There are worse found-footage movies out there, but The Marked Ones is definitely one you can skip over.

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77 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

Slightly Above Average

Author: jfish678 from United States
3 January 2014

A fun movie. I love how people post how much they "hate" the Paranormal Activity franchise yet they continue to see every new one that comes out.

I enjoyed all of the PAs including the 5th. No they're not ground breaking new material, but they are FUN. I don't go to movies to criticize every little thing. I go to have fun and enjoy myself. Although this one was a little slow to develop in the beginning the last 20 minutes were pretty intense.

If you "hate" all the previous Paranormal Activities then save your money and your hate-filled drivel and stay away. Nobody is forcing you to see it. If you didn't mind the previous PAs and just want to enjoy yourself for 2 hours then go see PA5.

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51 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Coming from a huge fan of only the first PA movie

Author: youngster50 from United States
4 January 2014

The first PA movie was a surprise hit that made millions out of its miniscule budget which led to several sequels that were both average and disappointing especially the fourth one which was made so lazily that its sole purpose was to make a quick cash-grab.

I expected this to be another average PA film but was surprised to see how well it was made. If you are not a fan of found-footage films which has recently become a huge trend, then obviously this movie will do nothing for you. The typical static camera shots of spontaneous noises and random things moving from the previous movies are gone now which is a good thing since there's only so much they can do with that. It takes place in a new setting with new characters and a lot more humor is added in this time. The protagonists were likable and not annoying and acted competently.

However, the good always comes with the bad but not too many. The film does nothing new or original but it wasn't as big a problem for me since the film was effectively made. Some of the scenes involving Latino gangs were too stereotypical and unnecessary but other than that, the movie didn't have too many flaws.

All I'm going to say without spoiling anything is that the last 20 minutes of the film will truly scare you with a huge twist at the end that will obviously not be explained further until the confirmed PA 5 comes out this October. I really thought this franchise was sealing its fate after the fourth one but The Marked Ones gives fresh opportunities for the filmmakers to indulge in. If you are a fan of the PA films excluding the fourth one and are unsure about whether you want to spend money to see this film, my recommendation is go see it without a doubt. I got my money's worth. :)

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44 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Specifically meant for the loyal audience of the franchise

Author: Sanjna Po from Australia
2 January 2014

When the news of a new entry in the series came to my attention, the idea exhausted me; especially given the previous entries and their deteriorating quality. Nevertheless staying true to the reason these films are still being made, and fans of real horror, like myself continue to watch them, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, rewards its loyal audience with a fairly sensible connection with the previous films and characters.

In a way, the film does show some maturity, and they seem to have graduated from chicken feet on the floor and utensils and sheets flying around the least for the most part. Here to begin with the lead character, Jesse was given just enough footage to get the audience to like him. We begin to instantly empathize with his family and friends and unlike the previous movies, none of them are extremely annoying. The actors, all do justice to their parts, and if not extremely strong performances, are convincing enough to keep us watching

This entry does give the audience more action than the prequels, however they divert themselves into satanic rituals, rather than pay any focus to the actual demon they are to be dealing with. There are just enough scares to justify one watch, and enough back story to make sense of a few huge question marks the previous films leave us with.

With the exception of these, the film has not much else to offer, and it is best to be watched as a part of this series and not compared to several of the other strong demonic possession films we've had in the past few years.

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Ties Up All The Loose Ends, But...

Author: meaghandill from United States
4 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What I loved about the first three installments of Paranormal Activity was that the scares were subtle and tension was built over time. Unfortunately, the fourth and now fifth installments of the franchise have fallen by the way of generic horror films of our day. The 4th movie had so much potential but fell completely short, and the 5th movie relies on all of the tried and tired possession plot lines.

You will definitely find some great "jumpy" scenes. Some you know are coming because they managed to create the tension, but some are completely unexpected. I also found the main characters very likable and funny...character development did not fall short at all like it did with the 4th film. The very best aspect of the movie is the highly touted surprise ending, which ties up all of the loose ends of the franchise.

I think some people are very confused by the progression of the Katie/Kristi story so I want to explain this a bit better. The story really begins with the prequel (PA3), showing Katie and Kristi's family being terrorized by "Toby"...a demon with whom the girls' grandmother has made a pact (to deliver the firstborn son of the family line). She is the leader of a coven of witches. It continues with PA2, which intertwines a bit with the first movie. Kristi has the firstborn son and the demon comes after him. Trying to ease the family's strife from the demon's presence, Kristi's husband performs a ceremony to sic the demon on Katie instead. The original movie follows Katie's terrorization and eventual possession. At the end of the movie we hear Katie screaming downstairs and Micah running down to help her. Moments later, Katie throws him bodily into the camera. Cutting back to PA2, we see Katie leaves her house and goes to Kristi's. She kills both Kristi and her brother-in-law (Kristi's stepdaughter Ali was on a school trip), and steals Hunter. This is why the 4th movie doesn't make much sense when you first view. Hunter has been adopted by a new family and Katie moves in across the street with a random little kid who introduces Hunter to the demon "Toby". That movie ends by the coven repossessing Hunter and killing his adoptive family.

I hated the 4th movie and thought that it was just filled with potholes, until seeing The Marked Ones. Jesse's downstairs neighbor is a part of the same coven as Katie and Kristi's grandmother, and her job is to create an army of demon children (marked ones) who will "activate" when they turn 18. When she dies, they investigate her apartment and find a journal that talks about a portal to dark places. Turns out Jesse was a "marked one", and is slowly possessed by a demonic force. To complete the possession, however, the coven must take him to their headquarters (Katie and Kristi's grandmother's house) and perform a final ceremony. Having consulted Ali from PA2, his friends know where the house is and go after him to stop the final ceremony. As his best friend is trying to run away from a fully possessed Jesse, he enters the portal and we find ourselves back in Micah and Katie's house, with Katie walking down the stairs in a trance and pulling a knife out of the kitchen drawer. The friend approaches her hoping for help and Katie starts yelling for Micah. Micah sees the friend and goes after him, but Katie stabs Micah we know exactly what happened downstairs in the first movie and why. It also answers the questions I had in the 4th movie. The random little boy living with Katie was obviously a "marked one".

So, is it a good film for the scares? Not so much. Is it good for understanding the franchise? ABSOLUTELY. If you're a loyal viewer, you have to watch it.

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40 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

The novelty is gone and the scares have disappeared in this once great horror franchise.

Author: Matt Greene from Panama City, Florida, United States
12 January 2014

At first, it seemed like the fun might be back in the Paranormal franchise with "The Marked Ones". There's a much needed change of environment, good comic relief and even a few decent horror images. All of this is completely negated by the movie's utter stupidity. While the first film was a worthy cultural phenomenon, the series is becoming a chore. If "The Marked Ones", the first big release of the year, is a sign of things to come, then it is going to be a LONG year. This is the fifth "Paranormal" film, and is more of a spin-off than a sequel. It follows Latino teenagers in California and (SURPRISE) strange things begin to happen to them. This movie is clearly trying to hearken its own previous films while also laying new ground, but fails on both fronts. It tries exorcism horror…and fails. It tries haunted house horror…and fails. It tries mythological horror…and fails. In fact, what made the first films so great was their simplicity; we could place our personal fears within the story. With all of this convoluted, lazy and stupid mythos, all relatability has been thrown out the window. Worst of all, it's clichéd and predictable. That's never good, but especially for a horror film that relies on being surprising. Instead, the creepiness is laughable, and the found footage element has become less of a device and more of a gimmick, too often being boring instead of scary. So while the first few films caused nightmares, this one will just put you to sleep.

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25 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

From a movie goer, not a fan-boy

Author: marcinito from Poland
27 January 2014

First of all, allow me to stress that IMDb has been my reference point for years now - with its share of ups and downs. This time however, I felt like I need to say something, because the overall rating of this movie is a gross understatement.

Second of all, reading this you should keep in mind that I am no particular fan of the series. I have seen all the previous parts except for no.4 (I think), and as much as I appreciated them, I don't wear PA t-shirts, nor do I have PA posters hanging over my bed. This is a very solid series, with the first part being the obvious winner, but to rant The Marked Ones is a bit unjust.

I saw this movie last night at a cinema (which, I believe, is important). I won't attempt comparing it to the other films in the franchise, but it certainly provided some awesome chills. More importantly, there were some parts of the movie that kept me on the edge of my seat for minutes, not just for a moment. That is, I believe, what makes a successful horror movie. Plus I'm definitely not into torture- porn, but there is no gore in this one, which is great.

- The story is neither super-original nor an obvious rip-off. - The "found footage" modus operandi works just fine throughout a movie, and - acting is believable enough to root for the characters.

The Marked Ones does not write genre history - nor does it boast with such ambitions. But if you're into some good chills, give it a shot. Don't believe everything people (including critics) write. Have an unbiased go at it and see for yourself. It's just another decent horror flick, not Blair Witch Project.

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27 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Dull/ doesn't feel the same

Author: cassandratay23 from United States
6 January 2014

The acting is quite good, that is the only reason why I am giving it 4 stars.

I love the first 3 movies they were exciting and fun. The 4th and 5th one don't feel like the same movie. When I watched this I realized I shouldn't have watched it because it makes me appreciate the first three less. This sucks I loved these movies until the 4th and 5th one. The writers are jumping around scraping for a way to draw out a movie concept that was fine the way it was. The main two actors were great though so don't hold it against them. But the movie wasn't scary and had a couple okay moments but all in all not worth your $$. You pretty much wait an hour for the movie to actually get exciting. Maybe there's hope for the next one if they decide to make one but honestly I want to just stick with the first three.

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Only watch it to say you've seen them all

Author: silverfur100 from Bathurst, Australia
25 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From beginning to end, it's awful, If you're watching the whole series just stop at the 3rd. The makers of this movie should offer refunds for putting this garbage out. It's a film just to make money from the loyal PA fans.

I also hate film makers that think harming (or pretending to harm) dogs or animals is any way a selling point or humorous. Get a grip, get a life, and get some real ideas instead of living off the popularity of a set of films.

If you're going to watch this at all, don't, just go find another movie on the shelf.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Terrible don't waste your hard earned money on this crap!

Author: red_headed_hysteria from United States
6 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved all the paranormal activity before. Not sure what they were thinking when they made this. I laughed through most of the movie because it seemed like a spoof film about horror movies. Very disappointing. The end was confusing and involved gang-bangers with guns, who are unsuccessful in killing off the hordes of witches. There are some pop outs, but most of them you see coming. The friend "Hector" was great in the movie. He was quite comical and had some funny t-shirts but his performance isn't enough to save this stinker.

Lucky the movie is only about an hour and a half, though I felt like It dragged on for hours. I should have guessed it was a stinker when the audience only consisted of my party of three, and a few pre-pubescent boys the second week it was in theaters.

Take my advice skip this movie and go to something else. If you really must watch it. Wait until it comes out for rental on DVD, and don't spend more than .99 to rent it.

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