Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Posted January 3, 2014 by in


Total Score

0/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: supernatural thriller
Director: Christopher Landon
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gloria Sandoval
Length: 84 minutes
Release Date: 1/3/2013
Studio: Paramount Pictures (presents), Blumhouse Productions, Room 101, Solana Films
What We Thought


by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
2013 kicked off with Texas Chainsaw 3D.  It was a sign of things to come for a bad year in cinema.  Similarly, 2014 is getting started off with Paranormal Activity:  The Marked Ones, the weakest chapter in the franchise—and that’s saying something after Paranormal Activity 4.
     The Marked Ones is unscary, a fatal flaw for a supernatural thriller.  Spellchecker informs me that “unscary” is not a word, but if an Adam Sandler comedy can be unfunny, a horror movie can be unscary, and The Marked Ones is exactly that, unscary.
     Judging by the audience’s laughter while watching the film, you’d think it was a comedy.  I wrote exactly the same thing about Texas Chainsaw 3D, and the similarity doesn’t bode well for 2014.  A difference though is that The Marked Ones often tries to be funny.  At one point, teenager Hector (Jorge Diaz) draws a dick on his friend Jessie’s face as he sleeps, and a Trust Fall ends with Hector falling flat on his back.  Considering that this is a horror flick about demonic possession, the physical comedy and juvenile humor are tonally much too light.
     Jessie (Andrew Jacobs) wakes up one morning with bite marks on his arms.  Soon after, he discovers that he has supernatural powers, and that an entity is protecting him.  The entity, however, is by no means benevolent, and wants something from Jessie.
     The Marked Ones introduces a new element into the franchise:  time travel.  The film makes no attempt to explain how time travel fits into the demon’s plans, which also somehow involve building an army for some reason.  What one has to do with the other, I don’t know.  It makes absolutely no sense.
     The ending indulges in sequel-baiting the audience into seeking answers to these ridiculous questions in a future installment, but the tactic reeks of jumping the shark.
     Spoilers here, because no one should watch this movie, because this franchise must end.  At the climax, Hector and Jessie’s sister Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh) recruit a couple of thugs to storm the estate where the coven gathers.  A witch runs at the thug, who blasts her with a shotgun, sending her flying backwards off to the side of the screen. It’s staged in a way that’s unintentionally funny, and serves as an example of the film’s directorial ineptitude.  0 stars.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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