Home Video

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Film Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Movie Review

3 stars

"Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in," screams Al Pacino in The Godfather III.  I now know how he feels.  Honestly, the only way to begin a review of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is with that famous non-haunted quote.  Why?  Because, after the one-two shot of the disappointing Paranormal Activity 3 and the even worse Paranormal Activity 4, I had written the series off as just another unending cash-grab horror franchise made by studio milk-hounds preying on the almighty teenage dollar.

But, damn it, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones actually raises the hairs on the back of my neck with its captured footage insisting and solid mystique as one teen discovers what it means to be all kinds of abnormal.

Billed as a Hispanic-centric side story, The Marked Ones offers a gripping story that reveals more than the last two entries in the series ever did and – for those able to connect the dots – it makes the trip to one teen’s rough neighborhood an interesting (and expansive) look into the universe so innocently created by Oren Peli and fine-tuned by Michael R. Perry.  The revelations offered by The Marked Ones’ writer and director Christopher B. Landon (Burning Palms) actually make sense and do wonders to energize the once fizzling franchise.

I’m not giving anything supernatural away with my review so just relax.  You should know, though, that part of what makes this film work is the shift in tone from horror to suspense and the fact that the chilling events of the film and its true-to-life characters – revolving around a teenager named Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and his best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) in Oxnard, California – are actually more relatable than the previous offerings and their thin slices of ultra-white wonder bread.  The change of culture and scenery allows the picture's dynamics to breathe a little bit.

Black magic is discovered.  A coven of familiar witches shared by a fellow high schooler named Oscar (Carlos Pratts) is also uncovered.  And Jesse has nowhere to turn when he discovers an inhuman bite mark on his arm.  He is now “marked” and the spirit who watches over him grants him certain abilities.  As the doomed atmosphere grows around him so, too, do his supernatural abilities.  They are blessings in the beginning but, make no mistake, they are soon going to be his damnation if his family can’t save him.

Jesse has to learn if he wants to be freed from the beastly “gift” growing inside of him.  The powers he has been granted flood the first part of the movie with cool and humorous situations and remind me of Chronicle.  The disturbing reality of what he is becoming guides the second part and the bizarre occurrences keep building until the final moments when a totally outrageous ending (the kind the series is known for) will either have you hissing or cheering at what it depicts.

Okay, so The Marked Ones might still be a cash-grab but at least it is grounded in a decent story that builds on actual suspense before going off the deep end.  If you hate the series, you will hate this film, too.  There’s no convincing you otherwise.  I will say this, though, the change in tone for this sort of spin-off is welcomed.

For those waiting patiently for Paranormal Activity 5’s lap around the track later this year, The Marked Ones makes for a frighteningly (and unexpected) solid pit stop.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use.
Runtime:
84 mins
Director
: Christopher Landon
Writer
: Christopher Landon
Cast:
Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Paranormal Activity
Memorable Movie Quote: "I've got an idea. Let's go check downstairs."
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
http://www.paranormalmovie.com/
Release Date:
January 3, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Aprl 8, 2014

SynopsisFifth installment for the franchise takes place in Los Angeles and plays up the possession angle more.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 8, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p AVC picture quality is entirely a hand-held consumer camcorder, with poor picture quality. If you were enthralled with the rest of the series, then this is for you. You know what to expect. Otherwise, the picture quality – by design – is worthless. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is essentially monaural, with thumping deep bass occurrences during sleep hours in all channels, especially extended in the .1 LFE channel.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The 2-disc release has the option of the theatrical version or the unrated version with an extra 15 minutes not seen in theatres. A digital copy of the theatrical version is provided on Disc 2. There are no special features, except for some deleted scenes.

  • Found Footage (11 min)

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes