Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones takes a left turn in that it features characters and situations not normally associated with the series. The story is the same-that of possession and witchcraft and the first-born-and characters from previous films make appearances here; however, aside from Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey, they've been relegated to cameo status for this one. I enjoyed the film and felt that, despite it not being an official sequel, gave the story a much needed shot in the arm.
The film focuses on Jesse, a newly graduated Hispanic teen living with his father and grandmother in an apartment complex in Oxnard. Popular belief is that his neighbor, Anna, is a witch. After she is murdered, Jesse and his friends find a book of spells and incantations in her apartment. They perform one of the spells and throughout the rest of the film Jesse exhibits strange and increasingly more disturbing behavior. He falls backward off of a chair and never hits the ground. He is attacked by thugs and hurls them off without touching them. Then there's the Simon memory game that gives him 'green for yes, red for no' answers (A red light for “Are you good?” a green light for “Do you want something?”) Things go from bad to worse, we discover the connection between Jesse and Katie and Kristi and in a final 'what were they smoking when they came up with this?' moment we are taken back to the end of Paranormal Activity, albeit from an entirely different point of view. End film, roll credits.
Yes, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a welcome shot in the arm for the series as I mentioned before. However, I can't help but ask if there is a necessity for a fifth film in the series, as it has been announced that there will be? My answer meter leans toward 'no'. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones would have worked just as well outside of the Paranormal Activity universe and could have easily been its own film with minor changes to the narrative. Ultimately the film begs this paraphrase taken from the Mexican bandits in Blazing Saddles: "Movies? We don' need no more stinking Paranormal Activity movies!"