The makers of Paranormal Activity have tried to inject new fresh blood into the horror movie franchise with this outing. Written and directed by Christopher B. Landon, and co-produced by Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones is more of a a spin-off of the Paranormal Activity film series and the fifth installment of the series.
The film focuses on Jesse, a recent high school graduate who lives in a small apartment in a complex with his grandmother & widowed father in Oxnard, California and usually hangs out with his best friend Hector and their common friend Marisol. After a party for him, Jesse buys a newer camera from a pawn shop. Anna, a reclusive woman who lives in the apartment below them and who is rumoured to be a witch is found murdered in her home and the police suspects Oscar, a former classmate of Jesse’s who was seen feeling from the scene. Jesse and his friend, Hector, decide to find out what Anna’s apartment looks like. They find black magic rituals and a picture of Jesse. They also discover several VHS tapes—including tapes from the childhood of Katie & Kristi. They also find a journal of spells, including one that discusses temporal doorways that take people in time and into evil and “unholy” locations. Along with Marisol they attempt to do the spell but nothing seems to happen that night.
However the next morning Jesse wakes up with a strange bite mark on his arm. Later, he and his friend Hector are confronted by two thugs who attack them, but the thugs are somehow knocked out by Jesse. When they show the incident to their other friend Marisol, Jesse cannot remember how it happened. He also discovers that he can perform “supernatural acts” like floating on air instead on falling down when he leans backwards without any support. With his confidence surging Jesse convinces Hector to join him at a party nearby where they meet two girls and Jesse invites Penelope to have sex with him in Anna’s apartment. When he leaves to get a condom, Penelope finds a a trap door in the apartment and is attacked by Oscar as he emerges from it. The girl runs away and Jesse searched for Oscar and finds the boy with oiley black eyes and the same bite mark on his arm. Oscar tells Jesse that unless they kill themselves they will harm those they love and then runs away. Although Jesse gives chase, he is left watching in horror as Oscar jumps from a high level to his death.
Jesse, Hector & Marisol inspect the room under the trap door and find an altar draped in witch paraphernalia as well as photos of Oscar, Jesse, and his family. One of the photos is of Jesse’s mother, while pregnant with him, posing with standing between Anna and Lois, Katie and Kristi’s grandmother. While there a shadow figure comes down the trap door but leaves without seeing the 3 teens. Over the next few days Jesse becomes moody and withdrawn, not sleeping and eating very little. The family dog, Chavo, disappears, and, believing that he hears it whining in the trap door basement in Anna’s apartment, Jesse heads down to rescue his dog. The shadow figure stands still without alerting Jesse who is unaware it is a trap. Jesse enters the basement and calls his dog, but instead he finds the ghostly figures of young Katie and Kristi. Frightened, he tries to flee the basement but finds the hatch closed. After shouting for help, Jesse turn his camera forward and hears voices muttering in the background. The voices stop and Jesse sees a black, shadowy figure emerging in the basement room. Sudden pounding footsteps approach Jesse as well as a horrifying demonic shriek as the malevolent shadow figure charges at Jesse, attacking him and knocking him down, possessing him.
Jesse then becomes darker & tortures Chavo his pet dog, murders his grandmother who was trying a religious spell to protect him and tells Hector that they are not friends. Hector and Marisol seek help from Oscar’s brother, Arturo, and find that Oscar had been in contact with Ali Rey (from the previous film), who had researched demons after her father and step-mother were killed and half-brother kidnapped by Katie. Ali tells Hector and Marisol that Jesse has been “marked” by coven witches called “The Midwives” who are using demons to create an army of possessed young men. Ali gives Hector and Marisol an address where a final ritual is to take place. Before they can head to the address, they are attacked by a now-possessed Jesse, whom they manage to knock out. Hector and Marisol decide to take him to the hospital but Hector’s car is suddenly rammed by a truck. Hector and Marisol are knocked out and Jesse is taken by whomever was driving the truck. They ask Arturo for help and he bring along his friend Santo armed to the teeth as they head to the house – which is house of Katie & Kristi’s grandmother’s house.
Searching the grounds next to the house, Santo then tries to break in the locked doors when the rest see a woman, apparently held captive plead for help. Suddenly the witches of the cover attack and kill Santo while Arturo tries fending off them using his shotgun and killing a few as Hector & Marisol lock themselves up in the house. However Marisol is abducted when Hector checks out a room that is prepped for a witches ritual and he frantically searches the house for her when her dead body crashes through a glass ceiling. Jesse then appears and lets out a demonic roar as Jesse chases Hector upstairs into a room with a strange wooden door in it. As Jesse crashes into the room, Hector flees through this doorway. After some camera interference, Hector finds himself back in time at the household of Katie and Micah, on the night that Katie finally succumbed to the demon. Hector sees Katie descend the stairs and pleads for her to help him. Instead, she grabs a knife and screams for Micah, who attacks Hector under assumption that he is an intruder. As Micah is stabbed to death by Katie, Hector tries to flee but is attacked and killed offscreen by a possessed Jesse, who unleashes a demonic roar and the camera falls to the ground. With the camera still rolling, Katie picks it up and stops the recording.
Time travel elements, desperate trying to connecting the spinoff with the other movies – why couldn’t they just let the movie stand on it’s own? Because for a while this movie was actually looking like the best of the whole lot of PA films but they ruin it with some silly stuff. 6 outta 10 for me!