Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Movie Poster Image
Plenty of violence in fifth installment of horror series.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 84 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The portrait of the Latino community is a welcome addition to the movie series, andmany of the main characters are generally well meaning, but ultimately, this is a horror movie without many redeeming messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Characters represent an interesting cross-section of mostly Latino folks, ranging from young to old, bad to good. There's one caring, giving grandmother character, but otherwise, the main characters are simply curious teens who get into trouble and the other characters range from gangsters to other shady, spooky types.
Violence
In one scene, heavy artillery -- shotguns, etc. -- are pulled and a couple of witches are "blown away," though no blood is shown. There's an attempted mugging, and some punching and fighting. A character commits suicide by jumping from a height; his body lands on a car and smashes it up. Another body is thrown through a glass skylight and lands on the floor. A character tries to choke another character, while a third bashes the attacker with a baseball bat. A woman is shown at the bottom of some stairs, with her head smashed and a pool of blood underneath. There's a car crash. A severed cow head is shown as part of a witches' ritual pentagram. A dog appears to be tormented in one scene. Otherwise, there's some creepy, ghostly imagery.
Sex
Some full-frontal female nudity. Characters spy on a neighbor through an air vent, and a fully-naked woman is seen standing motionless. Another woman is shown from behind in the same scene. In one scene, the main character attempts to have sex with a young woman. She takes off her top and shows her bra. She asks him to get a condom, but their sexual activity is interrupted. A character draws a penis on a sleeping friend's face. Otherwise, there's some brief innuendo and sexual suggestion.
Language
"F--k" and "s--t" are used almost constantly throughout. Occasionally, "p---y," "dick," "t-ts," "bitch," and "boner" are used.
Consumerism
A "Simon" electronic logic game is used as part of the plot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens are shown smoking pot in one scene. They are also seen with ready access to alcohol, though they are rarely shown drinking. There's some very brief drinking at a party. A teen gives alcohol to his grandmother, and teens are seen with beer bottles sitting on a table.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth in the successful, found-footage horror series. Violence includes only a little blood, but characters fire guns and we see some dead bodies, plus some fighting, a car crash, a tormented dog, and some scary, ghostly images. Some full-frontal female nudity is shown, and a sex act nearly happens, but is interrupted. Language is very strong, with near-constant use of "f--k" and "s--t." Teens smoke pot, there's some very brief drinking, and alcohol seems readily available in this world. After the drop in quality and enthusiasm after Paranormal Activity 4, it's not likely that teens will hold a sustained interested in this sequel.

User Reviews

Parent Written byRenee.Des October 20, 2014
Definitely not appropriate for anyone under 15. Full frontal female nudity and some very disturbing scenes. They must be running out of ideas because it seems l... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah January 7, 2014

It's okay, and I think that they know that that's as far as it can go.

When I first heard of this, I was naturally apprehensive. The trailers looked generic, the acting looked awful, and its delayed October-to-January release date... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHorrorlover1213 January 10, 2014

Disappointing Activity

I was very disappointed because I love the whole PA series. It seems like they just through in female nudity and innuendo which made it just stupid. Seriously w... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) is a normal, happy kid in Oxnard, California. He gives a speech at his high school graduation, and his family and friends, Hector (Jorge Diaz) -- who films everything -- and Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh), throw him a party at their apartment complex. Soon the friends become curious about the strange noises coming from their neighbor Anna's apartment. When it appears that a schoolmate has killed Anna, they begin poking around the apartment, finding curious articles of witchcraft. Soon after, Jesse begins to exhibit strange behavior. At first he seems to have superpowers, but before long he becomes withdrawn and even violent. Can Hector and Marisol solve the mystery of Jesse's behavior before it's too late?

Is it any good?

Fans of this series, or horror films in general, won't find much to scream about in this installment. A writer on the series since Paranormal Activity 2, Christopher Landon directed this fifth entry. His best innovation is to set the entire story within a vivid Latino community, complete with young people, old people, good people, and bad people. It's a refreshing angle, and for a while, before the supernatural stuff starts, the movie is fairly compelling. But unfortunately, as it goes on and turns more horrific, it also turns exceedingly stale.
 
There are some small cameos and references to the earlier films, but the major problem is that, unlike parts 1-3, there's absolutely no reason for characters to continue filming while all this stuff is happening. Moreover, while the witches seem to have power to do almost anything, they just can't stop the camera. Aside from that, the scares are overly familiar, properly-timed jumps and shocks borrowed from the earlier films and other "found footage" movies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Was it gruesome or overdone? Is it used for suspense, or for shock? Was the movie scary? What is the appeal of horror movies like this one?
  • Was the movie's sex and sexual innuendo gratuitous, or did it seem healthy? Are the characters too young?
  • How did you feel about teens having access to pot and alcohol throughout the movie? Did the consequences for drug and alcohol use seem realistic?

Movie details

For kids who love scares

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