Friday, 10 January 2014

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - The scoop and digest

No matter where it happens, no matter what happens and no matter when it happens, I've witnessed all the activity since the series began in 2007.

Here we embrace found footage and spin-off territory.

Of the countless additions to the genre, Spanish horror Atrocious and The Tapes are highlights.

The sequel to Rec was more action based and the terrible third threw away the camera about half way through.

Tape 407 was well, an abomination.

As a juicy alternative, why not experience fear in real time by stepping inside The Silent House, not to be confused with the American remake, Silent House.

Okay, enough of that, this is this.

Does Christopher Landon reinvigorate proceedings or just deaden the battery?

Plot details and/or spoilers will be shakily found.

Hoping to keep things in perspective include:

Andrew Jacobs – Jesse
Jorge Diaz – Hector
Gabrielle Walsh – Marisol
Renee Victor – Grandmother
Katie Featherstone – Adult Katie

12 June 2012

Yeah, I remembered.

After successfully graduating in California, Jesse hosts an after party to celebrate such an occasion with family and friends.

Jesse and friend Hector hear strange noises from next door so they attach an ‘extension’ lead and dangle the camera down a vent to take a peek.

The image projected on the television shows a naked woman fascinated by something and nothing.  A corpulent troll appears and draws a familiar looking triangular symbol on her body.

Jesse awakes to find his arm bitten but the ‘dick face’ is unconcerned by this strange hickey.

Simon also finds it fun to draw a phallus on Will’s back during The Inbetweeners Movie.

She will get mentioned later but female friend Marisol is ever present...

After playing basketball, two hoods attempt to rob Jesse of his backpack but hadn’t bargained on messing with an unnatural force.

This bite seems to bring out the Chronicle in Jesse as he parades unexpected super powers.

After Anna the troll is found dead, the finger of blame is pointed at former classmate Oscar.

Predictably, the friends feel as though investigation of the cordoned off flat is worth the risk.

They find evidence of black magic, a stash of video tapes and a family photograph featuring Jesse.

After a party, Jesse and Hector attempt some how’s yer father at Anna’s apartment.

As sexual conquest Penelope is left hanging, she opens a trapdoor and is grabbed by not The Black Eyed Peas, but the soon to be revealed black eyed Oscar.

Sex is out and the possessed is in as Oscar informs Jesse that they share the same mark and suicide is the only means of escape.

“You know the thing about a shark, he’s got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye.  When he comes at ya, he doesn't seem to be livin’.  Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white.”

That’s an excerpt from Quint’s famous Indianapolis speech and is still one of the greatest scenes in movie history.

Wait a minute, ‘black eyes’ and ‘bites’?  Ha ha!  The shit I think of.

Anyhow, Oscar practices what he preaches and dives from a great height into a car.

One night, in found footage land, Jesse investigates the woof woof making a disturbance in the basement and we catch sight of demonic girls not filing their nails.

Understandably freaked out, he jogs on but the hatch shuts and game over man, just game over.

What the fuck are you gonna do now?  What are we gonna do?

Seems as building a fire and singing a couple of songs seems inappropriate, let’s continue.

When Hector finds Jesse asleep, he finds the word MEUS written in presumably blood on his bedroom wall.

Unfortunately, we already know it’s not an anagram of rock band Muse and is Latin for ‘Mine’.

Becoming increasingly desperate, Marisol and Hector find the number of demonology investigator Ali Rey at Cesar’s house (Oscar’s brother) and arrange a meet.

She explains that a coven of witches (the Midwives) mark the mothers so the unborn are destined for possession.  We also hear about a gateway to an unholy place, or some shit like that.

Armed with advice, Grandma performs an exorcism with eggs on Jesse who willingly cooperates.

Things don’t go according to plan and the gate to another world appears during destruction.

With the shit starting to hit the fan, things comes to a head when it’s inferred that Jesse kills Grandma.

Hector and Marisol search for the missing and when found, he’s in no mood for a group hug.

Jesse attacks and nearly kills Hector but Marisol knocks him sparko with a pipe.

Their escape is thwarted when a van disables their vehicle and unknowns kidnap the unconscious Jesse.

They visit Cesar and he enlists a hood to help as they head for the final ritual hideout.

“Let’s smoke these bitches.”

What the fuck does that mean?  Oh, it must be a gangland thing.

So after brief exploration, members of the convent charge like women possessed and are promptly blown away.

Inside the house and a chase later, Hector witnesses Marisol’s corpse thrown through a glass ceiling.

Hector is pursued by Jesse and when cornered in an empty room, the camera gives us the chance to observe various ritual markings carved on the door frame with the garden housing strategically placed candles.

As he enters the gateway, the ‘unseen’ conclusion from the first film is played out.

In a hypnotic state, Katie descends the stairs and grabs a knife.

She suddenly screams for Micah who naturally goes for Hector but the possessed party piece successfully recreates Psycho.

If you remember, we were forced to imagine this stabbing and shortly before the film fades to black, Katie returns to the bedroom and throws Micah’s body towards the camera, before lunging to reveal her demonic side.

Hector won’t be staying for coffee as a sharp toothed Jesse apparently kills him.

With the camera still running, an old hag turns us off.

The concoction of silence with enemy or innocent appearing in front or out of nowhere is teetering on the brink of tedium.

Jesse pulls strands of cotton from his eyes (unexplained) and when asking a toy for answers as occurrences increasingly disturb, responses unfortunately don’t take a more sinister turn.

Stupid gang cliches simply irritate and the rather great Chronicle is badly ripped off (again).

Despite my bitching, this serves up an enjoyable feast.

It eventually explains events from the previous four and the witches' identity is no longer anonymous.

How matters escalate remains consistently engrossing and synonymous humour remains smartly sporadic.

Fair enough, this wheel turns no better than the others but provides an entertaining and competent stop gap.

The prospect of inhaling the overbearing aroma of familiarity in October* couldn't smell more fragrant.

*Apparently delayed until 2016.  Bastards...

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