Saturday, January 4, 2014

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

When you pay close attention to the movie calendar you start to notice some interesting trends.  And one of those trends is that the first week of the new year always seems to bring a horror film. In 2009 it was 'The Unborn'.  2010 brought the gift that was 'Daybreakers', a very entertaining vampire film.  2011 opened with the laughable guilty pleasure 'Season of the Witch', starring Nicolas Cage.  In 2012, I had to sit through the painful mess that was 'The Devil Inside'.  Last year I passed on 'Texas Chainsaw 3D'.  Next year is reportedly another take on the 'Amityville Horror' franchise.  And this year it's a spinoff of the unstoppable horror franchise, 'Paranormal Activity'.  I can't say I intuitively understand the link between early January and horror, but studio executives must have sound fiscal reasons for continuing this trend.

Those who know their horror franchises know that this is the fifth entry in the 'Paranormal Activity' series.  And generally speaking, by this time in most series, what was once groundbreakingly original is now tired and cliche.  And that could certainly be said here.  But personally I'm a fan of this series.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first, moderately liked the second, and could take or leave the rest though they all have entertainment value.  This one doesn't bring a whole lot new to the mythology but, as with all the priors, the running time is short and the payoff is at the very end.  Fans of the series and of found footage / documentary style horror films in general will be adequately entertained but not blown away.  In other words, it's exactly what you expected.

Grade: B

Who is this movie for?  Devoted fans of the Paranormal Activity franchise, even after four previous installments, and of other found footage / documentary style horror films.

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