Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones goes beyond the setting of the original series while giving us a deeper explanation of the original’s premise. The film revolves around a group of high school graduates who get involved with witchcraft, and the story ultimately links back to the plot of the previous instalments.
Although it’s a retreading of the original, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones adds some commendable new elements to the franchise. Unlike the original series, the film is well-structured and uses humour in its build-up. It also unfolds at a quicker pace. The film doesn’t follow the central family of the first two films; instead it links itself to the first film in a very eerie way that leaves the door open for more sequels.
That being said, the plot here is really no different. It still uses “found footage” of demonic possessions and relies on jump scares and other horror conventions to frighten the audience. But this time the camera is handheld, not fixed on a stand like in the previous films, and instead of a family, a group of teenagers is caught in the web of supernatural happenings.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones fails to match the horror of the original but redefines the franchise in its own way. It opens new gateways through which the franchise can proceed and leaves the audience eager for sequels. It exceeds the expectations of a spin-off, but can’t be regarded as an exact sequel. Overall, if you are a fan of this franchise and enjoy a good scare or two, this film is not to be missed. MM½