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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

year: 2014 rating: **
It’s getting ridiculous how long people keep their cameras rolling no matter what’s going on around them. Although it can be argued that the cameras sustain because of what’s going on around them, but there has to be a point where you simply drop the device and run like hell... And most importantly, like the groundbreaking BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, there should be a logical reason to be documenting everything in the first place...

Last year’s CHRONICLE also centered on high schoolers with a shaky handheld, detailing their existence before and after acquiring unknown superpowers which then turn deadly. Same thing happens here but with only one kid.

Latino teen Jesse, fresh from graduating high school with his video-happy pal Hector, hang around a dilapidated apartment complex and are curious about their neighbor, known around town as a Witch. The school valedictorian is spotted leaving her apartment and, well… let’s just say the wicked witch is dead yet there’s nothing to ding-dong about. In fact, they don't even knock.

After breaking into the taped-off apartment, Jesse, with marks on his arm looking awkwardly CGI compared to the documentary style “realism” of everything else, has superhuman strength and soon becomes fiendishly possessed, taking diabolic aggressions out on bully gang members and the family Chihuahua.

The premise is intriguing and the leading actors are somewhat likable, but the fact these jovially air-headed/pot-smoking kids figure things out like seasoned crime investigators and/or paranormal researchers is quite a stretch. It would have been more suspenseful and frightening had they (and the audience) remained in the dark a lot longer.

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