Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review


I grew up in the projects of Culver City. My sister’s nanny was Latina and she had a couple of kids my age. That meant that 90% of my time away from school was spent in the hood. In that hood I met a lot of interesting people, some of which are carbon copies in this movie. I hate the other Paranormal Activity movies, I don’t like them at all. I think they suck, quite honestly. But the makers of the series found a way to get to me, and you know what, they did it well. This movie is awesome in my book, and it’s because it hits home to my childhood and the things my people say, do, and well act like. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones has a healthy mix of fear, and I for one loved it.

The movie tells the story of recent Latino graduates. They live in a small apartment complex, and they have a camera that they are recording everyday life with. As they start to investigate their neighbor, they realize that there’s something going awry. They find out that she’s in “Santa Muerte” and things start to spin out of control when the main character, Jesse, finds what appears to be a bite on his arm. Of course this comes after a black magic, voodoo, black mirror thing ends up happening in an abandoned church. I may be glossing over things, but whatever, it’s coming from memory.

As the movie progresses, things really start to get insane, and we push through to a story that is gut wrenching. I haven’t felt a twist in my stomach until Jesse turns super evil, and his friends have to try and save them. Hector running through a sequence in the Coven and Marisol falling out the sky did it for me, and the movie really pushed my buttons. Perhaps it’s the Latino influence, perhaps I was just lucid, but there were moments in this movie that made me root for the good guys, even though they brought this whole thing on themselves. Scooping fire into their laps turned out to burn them like hell, no pun intended.

Altogether, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a frenetically wound scary movie, and it had me amazed. I liked the found footage story telling here, and appreciated the nod to my culture in a way. There’s a lot to this movie, and something that I will definitely watch again. I haven’t seen a horror movie in a long time that I truly liked, and this is one of them. It’s powerful, and while it’s not perfect, it’s definitely one of my favorites from the past few years. There’s a sick sense of terror that permeates through the actions of this movie, and something that all good horror movies do. There's something for everyone here, and if you're at all familiar with Mexican, Latino culture, you may have a bit of a soft spot for this movie's central characters and themes.

The real dirt here, buy this one on blu ray, wait for nightfall, light some candles and get scared. I loved it. Yeah, I said it. There's more to this than just my attempt at an explanation, so go see it or figure out how to get it (below).

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