The Horror Honeys: Paranormal Activity: No bueno. No más

Paranormal Activity: No bueno. No más

A Supernatural Honey Review

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

Several years ago, when I first began hearing and seeing snippets on a little movie called Paranormal Activity, I was, for lack of a better word, stoked. This seemed like the super scary ghost story I had been waiting for. Of course, this was before nearly every film was "found footage" style and induced my migraines. It felt like it was never going to get released. Then boyfriend brought me a screener to watch on one of his visits. Wow! Finally! Unfortunately, halfway through, I found that doing my laundry was more entertaining. Keep in mind, this was the original cut, not the one they eventually played in theaters. I gave up right there and haven't seen another PA movie… until now.

I had the opportunity to see Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones at a screening. It's been getting some decent buzz and was supposed to be "different" than the others. Besides, it had been snowing for four days straight and I had nothing better to do. 

Jesse just graduated from high school. He and his friend Carlos are enjoying the start to their summer by videotaping their antics. They spy on Jesse's neighbour, Ana, whom they believe to be a witch. She turns up dead and they sneak into her apartment to snoop. Soon after, Jesse begins to experience some changes in his personality and his physicality. He finds out he's been marked for possession by a cult of women who take first born sons. It's quite unclear why or what happens to them afterward. Then again, this is a Paranormal Activity movie, what did you expect?

I think I've made my point on several occasions about my distain for found footage. It's been done to death. I went into this fully expecting to hate it so at least my expectations were reasonable. 

I will say that the first act was kind of entertaining. Watching Jessie and Carlos film each other doing stupid things like riding a laundry basket down a flight of stairs; it was kind of like watching Jackass, but with less disgusting people. Once the whole possession stuff started to figure in, it lost me.

The characters are all pretty likeable. However, because the story is so stupid and done to death, it's hard to feel much sympathy for anyone once the shit hits the fan. 

There are a few moments that are intended as jump scares, but, at this point, you see them coming. For instance, Jesse is walking through the basement of his neighbour's apartment, looking for his dog. There are drapes of plastic sheeting that he has to pull back one by one. You know eventually something "evil" will be behind one of them and that's exactly what happens.

Sure, this shit is unrealistic to begin with, but if you're not making a film, why on earth would you be carrying a video camera everywhere you go? During the climax, when Carlos and a few others go to a farm to attempt to rescue Jesse before his final ritual, are we really supposed to buy that they'd bring a camera to that and not the cops? They saw him being physically taken away.

As I stated before, I haven't seen any of the other films except the first. While it's true, you don't necessarily have to watch them, there are tie ins to several. If you haven't seen the first one, the ending won't make a lick of sense. Oh, who am I kidding? It didn't make sense anyway. The ending was the most ridiculous thing about the movie.

Probably the most entertaining thing for me was near the end of the film. A guy in the row behind me was making for the isle. He bonked me in the back of the head. I was super pissed until I discovered why he was in such a hurry. As he got to the bottom of the stairs, he hurled into the trash receptacle! He then tried to head to the bathroom before his nausea hit him again. I'm not sure if it was something he ate, motion sickness, or the bad movie that made him sick. Regardless, I found that more captivating than what was on screen.

I get that these films make money and we live in a time where everyone makes videos and uploads them to YouTube, but enough already. They're not original. They're not scary. They're not even mildly amusing. Enough.

Supernatural Honey Verdict: Two viral videos out of five - and that's only because of laundry basket bobsledding.