“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (2014) Review

Following his high school graduation, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) begins to experience mysterious occurrences. He enlists in his friends Hector (Jorge Diaz) and Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh) to help him figure out what is going on. Along the way, the three friends uncover clues to secrets they never could have imagined.

The Marked Ones is a spin-off of the popular Paranormal Activity series. However, this doesn’t mean it’s branched off from the series completely. The film, while having a different storyline, perfectly fits into the series and answers several questions, while leaving room for the series to develop. As for the film itself, it is easily the best of the series. We are given characters we really like and root for and they are really well-developed to where we are given this opportunity. There is also never a dull moment. When there isn’t tension-filled moments, we are given fun and comical moments with the characters. It also keeps the viewer engaged from beginning to end with wanting to figure out the clues and mysteries along with the characters. Once that aspect gets going, it keeps going and doesn’t diverge from it. Keep an eye out for returning characters and references to the previous films. It makes the film that much greater to enjoy and piece together with the rest of the films. As far as the “found-footage” aspect. It uses this aspect in a better light. The camera use isn’t as referred to or made known like the other films. There were times when I found myself not even acknowledging it was a found-footage film unless it actually was referred to or was obvious.

We are given a group of very talented young cast members. Our three leads have very solid chemistry and really appear as a tight-knit group. When they have fun together it’s as if they are really having fun. But then once things begin to happen, we see the genuine concern in the actors playing Jesse’s friends. As our lead, Andrew Jacobs does a good job of carrying the movie. He does an excellent job of showing the different stages of Jesse’s persona changes throughout the film.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is an excellent entry to the series and the breath of fresh air it needed. It connects so well to the series while using a different storyline. It also gives us some fun and fairly tense moments as well as lovable characters played by a talented group of new faces.

–Cody Landman