I’ve always found the Paranormal Activity movies more frightening than they probably should be because they’re (at least the ones I could stomach) set in my hometown of Carlsbad, California. The teenage girl’s bedroom in Paranormal Activity 2 even looked exactly like mine did as a teen, making me paranoid that either someone from Blumhouse or a spooky ghost is watching me. It’s particularly unnerving to drive home from the movie theater and see rows of houses that all look like the haunted one that was just on screen.
But now, the fifth film in the PA franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, is taking the curse of Katie and moving it to a different town – although it appears that they’re sticking pretty steadfastly to their tried-and-true formula. If you recall, The Marked Ones is the puzzling “Latino-themed” spinoff that for some reason they couldn’t just call Paranormal Activity 5.
Taking its cues from Catholic spiritual cleansing practices, the film follows some kids who dance with the devil and seek major religious help when their friend becomes possessed. But like we all know from the previous four films (and Katie’s niece, so nice of her to show up and explain things for these confused and scared teens), once Katie has her clutches on you, there’s not much God can do to help.
Really, there’s nothing new here besides taking the action outside of the haunted house and moving it into the streets. So urban, so edgy. The action is all still shot through found footage (handicam, this time around). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be scares galore. I will be watching through my fingers. Check out the trailer here…if you daaaare:
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is in theaters January 3, 2014.