Found Footage Fatigue: A “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” Review


I don’t know why the “Paranormal” movies had a certain appeal to me. In spite of getting bored with the earlier films of the franchise, I still watch whenever a new Paranormal movie comes out.
Set a few months after the fourth film, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (aka Pranormal Activity 5), follows Jesse and his bestfriend Hector who seem to be having the time of their lives doing crazy antics just like normal teenage boys do. However, after they explore the apartment of Jesse’s deceased neighbour, strange things started happening, and Jesse seemed to have developed supernatural abilities. It was all fun and games at first, but things started to get serious when they realize that they may have gotten themselves involved in something dark and evil.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Trailer

Having seen the earlier films of the franchise, I already got used to the boring start and the dragging establishment of the setting. This movie basically uses the same formula as its predecessors – they bore you first with random footage of the cast, then when you’re finally getting fed-up, they’ll bombard you with the scary stuff all in one go. At least with this latest movie the leads are doing crazy, stupid antics at the first part of the film so it doesn’t get that uninteresting. But still, you’ll have to wait for more than half of the movie to be over before you start seeing the good stuff.
But boy when the scary shit happens, they do mean business. On this department, this movie performed a few notches better than the earlier films. They didn’t just show us poltergeist activities with objects flying around and people getting hurled to the ceiling. This time, we also had a car crash, shotguns, and even getting chased by a demon. But yeah, all those cramped into the last part of the film.
Some things turned me off though like, there were a lot of cheap jump scares that were meant to just startle you for a moment instead of actually terrifying you til you shit bricks. Also, as we all know, this is a “found footage” type of film, but this one utilizes a handheld camera, unlike the earlier movies where they set-up cameras all over the house. Thing is, given the situation that they are in, it’s not believable that they’d still hold on to the camera and film everything the way they did. It was absurd, unrealistic, and was just trying too hard. They didn’t even establish why they’re filming the whole drama in the first place.
What I liked about the movie though – well the whole franchise actually – is its consistency. This movie was able to refer to the earlier films, like the whole story was laid out and planned all along. We see references to Paranormal 2, 3, and we even get to see again a scene in the very first Paranormal film. We also see again the word “Meus” which in Latin means “mine”.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was scary and gripping at the right moments, but those are all in the latter part of the film. Let’s just hope that its audience doesn’t get tired of having too many sequels. I for one is already feeling the fatigue – let’s just get on with it and explain everything to us already!

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Credits to the images and videos used in this post go to “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended.
Geoffrey Ledesma


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