Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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.
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 At first he seems to have superpowers, but before long he becomes withdrawn and even violent.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?
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. Fans of this series or horror films in general won't find much to scream about here.
Families can talk about...
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?
|Theatrical release date:||January 3, 2014|
|DVD release date:||April 8, 2014|
|Cast:||Andrew Jacobs, Gabrielle Walsh, Jorge Diaz|
|Run time:||84 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use|