So is it "Paranormal Activity 5" or "Paranormal Activity 4.5"? Whatever it is, "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" is being heralded as a return to form for the found- footage series.
The Latino-centric spin-off steps away from the characters we've followed through the first four installments, but that doesn't mean you won't see some familiar (demonic) faces.
If you're considering taking a trip to the paranormal side of the multiplex this weekend, sneak a peek at what the critics are saying about "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" first.
"The new film shifts from the suburban anxieties of the white middle class to a group of Latino teenagers in an apartment complex. The change is sharp, giving the new film some much-needed freshness.... 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' picks up with new characters — teenagers played by Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz and Gabrielle Walsh — who stumble onto an unsettling mystery when a reclusive woman in their apartment complex dies. They dig deeper, and it turns out that some of them have been unknowingly involved in a sinister plot involving black magic mysticism and possession for years." — Mark Olsen, LA Times
"Writer-director Christopher Landon delivers a few good scares, and not always where you expect them, but where he really excels in the cast and their performances; their exchanges feel spontaneous and unforced, vital for a found-footage movie, and Landon (with the help of casting director Carla Hool) has assembled a charismatic and empathetic group of actors. (Particularly the scene-stealing Jorge Diaz, who all but walks away with the movie.)" — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
Connections To The Series
"The film fills in a few new details about The Midwives, the coven that has been manipulating the events in all of these films, and there are two scenes that introduce a big new concept to the series. The first might be the single most sophisticated effects gag we've seen in any of the films so far, and the second does something sort of crazy that folds the entire series in on itself. The real question now is how the next film, supposedly due later this year, brings together the various story threads that have been laid out. While this film doesn't make the same mistake as 'Paranormal Activity 4' last year, treading water without really adding anything to the larger story being told, it does end up in a familiar place, and there's only a finite number of times they can do that without finally paying off what they've done such a careful job setting up." — Drew McWeeny HitFix
The Final Word
" 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' is no spin-off. It's not a side story that ignores the previous films to go in its own direction. Not at all. This is 110% canon. It fits with the series perfectly and in my opinion could have easily been called 'Paranormal Activity 5' and no one would have complained. Hell, this should have been the 'Paranormal Activity 4' that we never got. If you're thinking you should skip this one and just wait for '5,' think again as 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' reaches an elevated height within the franchise by breaking some new ground... and then burying you alive and screaming in it." — Steve Barton, Dread Central