Christopher Landon

review pa the marked ones

Horror franchises are nothing new, but the Paranormal Activity series stands apart as the only one to consist solely of found-footage films. It’s an overused and troublesome format that features very few successes, but not only have the four four earlier PA films been box-office hits they’ve also featured some really solid scares and/or sequences. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones itself marks the series’ return after taking 2013 off, but while it’s too early to say if it will scare up some healthy ticket sales it’s already clear that it’s not quite as scary as the four that came before. It is better written and acted though, and that alone is a triumph for a found-footage film. Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) is celebrating his eighteenth birthday with friends, family, and a brand new video camera. The night after his weird downstairs neighbor is murdered Jesse and his two best friends, Hector (Jorge Diaz) and Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh), sneak into her apartment to snoop around. Their trespasses trigger a connection to the unknown, and soon they’re toying with strange powers, discovering deadly secrets, and communicating with the other side through a Simon game. And it’s all caught on video!

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zombiescouts

If you need any sort of indication that the zombie craze that has taken over our popular culture in the last decade or so has hit its peak and is now getting ready to wane, you probably need look no further than the ludicrously titled upcoming film from Paramount Pictures, Boy Scouts vs. Zombies. Yes, as you’re likely imagining, this really is a movie that’s going to pit flesh-eating fiends against young boys in little shorts and neckerchiefs, and it really is on its way to being made. Don’t roll your eyes too much yet though, because there is some indication that there might be a few good ideas getting kicked around here. What started out as simply a pitch for a movie that never ended up getting made has since become a Black List script written by Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki, so all indications are that the execution of a movie that pits hordes of rotting creatures against knot-tying and campfire-building skills has so far been better than its conception. So much so that Deadline is reporting the movie is moving forward once again, and has found a new director.

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Paranormal Activity 4

Paranormal Activity 4 hits theaters October 19th, and if you’re already planning on going, then you are really, really dedicated to this franchise. Seriously. You’re sticking it out, and there’s something probably commendable about that. At any rate, you’ll be rewarded with even more Paranormal Activity for going to see the fourth Paranormal Activity. According to Bloody Disgusting, Paramount is planning to toss a post-credits tease for the forthcoming “Latino-themed” spin-off onto the prints. From writer/director Christopher Landon, the new movie will feature a Latino cast and involve Catholicism, but it will be in English (meaning that the “latino-themed” Actividad Paranormal (my title) will later have to be clumsily dubbed into Spanish. Irony abounds) and isn’t the first foreign-focused spin-off for the franchise. In 2010, they released Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night. There may be sequels forever and ever, but this move is especially laudable for how transparently cash-grabby it is. Hopefully, Actividad Paranormal 2: La Llorona’s Revenge will be ready by the time Paranormal Activity 5 and Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night 2: Tokyo Afternoon both hit screens.  

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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