PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED  ONES-United States-100 Mins. (Unrated) 2014

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Andrew Jacobs as Jesse in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.

Andrew Jacobs as Jesse in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Jorge Diaz as Hector in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Jorge Diaz as Hector in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Directed and Written by Christopher Landon

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones takes a left turn in that it features characters and situations not normally associated with the series. The story is the same-that of possession and witchcraft and the first-born-and characters from previous films make appearances here; however, aside from Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey, they’ve been relegated to cameo status for this one. I enjoyed the film and felt that, despite it not being an official sequel, gave the story a much needed shot in the arm.

The film focuses on Jesse, a newly graduated Hispanic teen living with his father and grandmother in an apartment complex in Oxnard. Popular belief is that his neighbor, Anna, is a witch. After she is murdered, Jesse and his friends find a book of spells and incantations in her apartment. They perform one of the spells and throughout the rest of the film Jesse exhibits strange and increasingly more disturbing behavior. He falls backward off of a chair and never hits the ground. He is attacked by thugs and hurls them off without touching them. Then there’s the Simon memory game that gives him ‘green for yes, red for no’ answers (A red light for “Are you good?” a green light for “Do you want something?”) Things go from bad to worse, we discover the connection between Jesse and Katie and Kristi and in a final ‘what were they smoking when they came up with this?’ moment we are taken back to the end of Paranormal Activity, albeit from an entirely different point of view. End film, roll credits.

Yes, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a welcome shot in the arm for the series as I mentioned before. However, I can’t help but ask if there is a necessity for a fifth film in the series, as it has been announced that there will be? My answer meter leans toward ‘no’. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones would have worked just as well outside of the Paranormal Activity universe and could have easily been its own film with minor changes to the narrative. Ultimately the film begs this paraphrase taken from the Mexican bandits in Blazing Saddles: “Movies? We don’ need no more stinking Paranormal Activity movies!”

TRIVIA

The Marked Ones has the lowest box office opening weekend of the franchise.

Takes place four years after the events of Paranormal Activity (2007).

Katie Featherston is the only actress to appear in all five PA movies.

Features cameos from previous franchise actors Micah SloatMolly EphraimChloe CsengeryJessica Tyler Brown, and Hallie Foote.

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Andrew Jacobs also appears in the TV series Major Crimes.

Jorge Diaz also appears in Filly Brown and Budz House.

Gabrielle Walsh also appears in the short film Kleptosomnia.

 

THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

From Paranormal Activity and featuring Katie Featherston as Katie:

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I think we’ll be okay now.

PARANORMAL4ACTIVITY

PARANORMAL4ACTIVITY-United States-2012

Alexondra Lee as Holly (Image not from film)

Stephen Dunham as Doug (Image not from film)

Brady Allen as Robbie

Aiden Lovekamp as Wyatt

Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Story by Chad Feehan

Screenplay by Christopher Landon

Let me clear one thing up for everyone from the start; I did not hate Paranormal Activity 3 nor did I think it sucked in any way. But, I know that I am in the minority when it comes to the film so let’s move on. Apparently the filmmakers thought differently than I because they have set the 4th film in the series 5 years after the events of Paranormal Activity 2. The setting is now a house in Nevada in 2011 and strange things begin to occur after the family takes in a strange little boy from across the street after his mother is taken to the hospital via ambulance. When I say strange I mean this is the kind of kid who appears out of nowhere to scare the living shit out of you and who talks to unseen beings named Toby. I’m sure you remember Toby from the 3rd film so I don’t have to tell you what he is.

The film centers around the family’s teenage daughter Alex (Kathryn Newton, Bad Teacher) and her sort of somewhat boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively, Barrio Tales) as Alex experiences strange phenomenon throughout the house and Ben helps her set up laptops that double as webcams to record the activity. Another neat trick involves night vision and the X-Box Kinect system. It made me wonder what the hell I was doing with a PlayStation 3.

But I digress. Paranormal Activity 4 is one of those movies that I don’t like to say a whole lot about because I don’t want to give too much away. I will say three main things about the film. One, the film does have some genuinely scary moments. Two, the film answers certain questions, but of course it sets up even more. Finally, the film marks the significant return of Katie Featherston to the series. That may not seem all that relevant to anyone else, but I’ve had the hots for her since the first Paranormal Activity. If that’s too much information then sue me.

So, is Paranormal Activity 4 good? I think so. Is it scary? For the most part, yes it is. Is it going to make a shitload of money? Seriously, what the hell do you think? Oh, and for those of you keeping tabs I rate the series in order of quality 1. Paranormal Activity 2; 2. Paranormal Activity; 3. Paranormal Activity 4 and 4. Paranormal Activity 3. Now shoo, go buy Halloween candy or sacrifice a virgin* or something.

NO TRIVIA AT THIS TIME

*Written in Blood does not in any way, shape or form condone the sacrificing of virgins or even non-virgins for that matter. Do not attempt this. If you do I do not know you.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

PARANORMAL ACTIVITYUnited States-2007

Katie Featherston as Katie

Micah Sloat as Micah

Written and Directed by Oren Peli

So, here’s the thing; I could swear that I’ve reviewed this movie before for this blog. I can remember finding the poster, the photos and the trailer. I remember posting it. So why is it that when I do a search for the post the only films that show up are “Paranormal Activity 2″ and “Paranormal 3 Activity”? I don’t delete my posts after I put them out there for all the world to see; so what the hell?

Anyway, I guess that’s not important. What’s important is this review. This marks the fifth time that I have watched “Paranormal Activity” and each time I’ve noticed something different. The first time I noticed the vocal just underneath Katie (Featherston’s) voice when she tells Micah (Sloat) that she thinks they’ll be okay. I noticed the chandelier moving the second or third time I watched and this time I noticed Katie’s hair move when she tells Micah that she can feel the entity breathing on her. It’s the small things that make this film as creepy as it is.

But allow me to expand on that a bit. It’s not the small things that you notice or expect to see that make “Paranormal Activity” creepy. It’s the things you expect to see that don’t happen. Every time I watch the movie I expect that when Micah and Katie first go downstairs to investigate the noise that the light from the camera will shine down on some perverse, terrible thing lurking in the darkness. When Micah opens the curtain to peer outside I expect to see a hideous visage staring into his eyes. I see neither; and that makes it even worse. I originally thought that Micah was a bit of a dick in the way he handled the entire situation; but I can also understand his reasoning. We fear what we can’t see and what we can’t understand. We are terrified when we want to protect our loved ones and don’t have the slightest idea as to what to do. “Paranormal Activity” is frightening because it makes us stare into the face of helplessness. Micah wants to protect Katie and in the end there’s not a damn thing he can do.

“Paranormal Activity” is similar to “The Blair Witch Project” in that it puts its characters in situations beyond their control. It’s no surprise that both films feature characters, Heather in “Blair Witch” and Micah in “Paranormal”, who are complete control freaks. It’s also no secret that it turns out bad for them. The thing is, sometimes you go up against something that’s in way more control than you are. The difference in the two films is that while “Blair Witch” stops at showing us that what we can’t see is more frightening than what we can see; “Paranormal” shows us that what’s even more frightening is what we expect to see and then don’t.

I still think I reviewed this movie already. I blame gremlins.

TRIVIA

The original ending was changed at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg.

Oren Peli got the idea for the movie from a personal experience. Late at night he was sleeping and a box of detergent fell off the shelf. The box was pushed too far back for it to just tilt and fall.

The actors weren’t given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.

Dreamworks wanted to remake the movie with a bigger budget and better known actors rather than release the film as it was and use the original as a DVD extra.

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-JUNE 2012-KATIE FEATHERSTON

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-JUNE 2012-KATIE FEATHERSTON

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Katie Featherston is not the first woman that you think about when the subject of Scream Queens comes up in a conversation. But then you take a look at her page on the Internet Movie DataBase and you begin to change your mind a bit. Take a look at her credits; Paranormal Activityhorror, Paranormal Activity 2-horror, Paranormal Activity 3-horror, Psychic Experiment-horror, Mutation-you guessed it, horror. The Texas born beauty was born October 20, 1982 and graduated with a BFA from Southern Methodist University after majoring in acting in 2005. She says her favorite scary movie is Candyman and that Halloween is the perfect time of the year for horror movie marathons. She is vicious, malicious and oh so delicious. She is Katie Featherston and she is the Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Month for June, 2o12.

PARANORMAL 3 ACTIVITY

PARANORMAL 3 ACTIVITYUnited States-83 Mins. 2011

Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown as Katie and Kristi

Also starring Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner and Katie Featherston

Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Written by Christopher Landon and Oren Peli (characters)

Remember how I said that although people still get scared at horror movies, but they just don’t get scared as a collective whole? Yeah, well, you can throw that sh*t right out the window. That is, at least in the case of Paranormal Activity 3. The theatre was packed tonight when I went to see it and I could swear that there were several moments that people were going to end up in each other’s laps. Is the film good? I believe it is. I enjoyed the first two films and was a little weary that there would be a third. Without giving anything away I can safely tell you that Paranormal Activity 3 not only answers a lot of questions; it also opens up the door for a possible fourth film in the series. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends entirely on your point of view. The film once again uses the ‘found footage’ technique of telling the story and this time takes us back to when Katie was a child and when it all began and that is all I am going to say about it.

If you measure how good a horror film is by audience reaction then I would have to say that Paranormal Activity 3 is a masterpiece. It’s probably not; I’ll eventually buy the film and watch it alone, and the scenes that made everyone jump out of their skins will not seem that scary anymore. Then again, it could turn out to be like the first film and be even more frightening within the confines of home (not so) sweet home.

TRIVIA

Towards the beginning of the film, Julie takes a picture of young Kristi standing in the driveway shortly before a group picture is taken. The photo being taken appears in bothParanormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 as an indication that the demon has started haunting them.

Mark Fredrichs previous played the Psychic in the first Paranormal Activity, which took place nearly two decades after the events in this film.

As with Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2, Paramount Studios once again utilized paranormal investigator/researcher, Christopher Chacon, who is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on paranormal phenomena, to internationally promote and publicize this third installment. Chacon also works in the entertainment industry as a writer, director and producer.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

 

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2-United States-91 Mins. 2010

paranormal-activity-2-poster1

Directed by Tod Williams

Story by Michael R. Perry

Screenplay by

Michael R. Perry

Christopher B. Landon

Tom Pabst

Original Story by

Oren Peli

Starring

Katie Featherston as Katie

Micah Sloat as Micah

Brian Boland as Daniel Rey

Sprague Grayden as Kristie Rey

Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey

Seth Ginsberg as Brad

The main thing wrong with Paranormal Activity 2 is that we’ve definitely seen it all before. In fact, we saw the same thing in the first Paranormal Activity. This time as the film progresses we learn that it’s a prequel to the events that happened in the first film. The Rey family is haunted by an unseen entity that appears to be there for one reason and that is for the couples newborn son. We know this because their daughter Ali did research on the internet on just that sorta thing. Isn’t the World Wide Web grand?

As is the case in any ghost story there is always a doubting Thomas. In this case make it a doubting Daniel, the husband. Everything weird thing has an explanation. The pot fell off the hook it was hanging from? It wasn’t hung properly. The pool cleaner is out of the pool every night for a week? The settings are too high. This kind of thing really upsets Kristie, his wife. She’s actually his second wife. We learn from a conversation he has with Ali that his first wife is deceased. They don’t go into detail; Ali just mentions that she thinks the house being haunted would be cool because then she could talk to her mom.

There are a few genuine jumps and jolts in the film. There is also a scene that is very reminiscent of the first film. The most annoying thing is how repetitive the film can be. The cameras that are installed throughout the house (and through which we the audience are the voyeurs in  the Rey household) go through the same pattern each and every night. It wouldn’t have killed the filmmakers to do a change-up every now and then.

Paranormal Activity 2 is not a bad film. It’s not a great film. It’s one of those films that when you watch it, you just know that you’ve seen done before, and better.

1/2