[WARNING - Major SPOILERS for the Paranormal Activity Franchise Follow!!!!]
Another Paranormal Activity movie is now in theaters (read our review) - which means that it is once again time to sift through the franchise's sordid mythology to see if we can't get a firm grip on what the hell is going on.
Due to the nature of the found-footage sub-genre, explanations and informative resolution are almost impossible to come by, as films presented from found-footage POV almost always come to the truncated end of that last victim dropping the camera during their final moments of panic. Audiences are then left to comb through expositional and visual clues presented throughout the film, in order to fuel their theories about what it all means.
As you can see in the video below, we've already done extensive documentation of the mythos established in Paranormal Activity 1 -3, and PA4 gave us more questions than answers, so how does The Marked Ones fit into all this? We'll explain.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - Ending Explained
Dubbed as a "spinoff" of sorts, The Marked Ones follows Latin teenagers Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz) as they explore the mystery of Jesse's neighbor Anna (Gloria Sandoval), who they discover is an evil witch. Anna's witchcraft is in pagan rituals involving pregnant women, whose offspring (upon reaching maturity) are linked to a demonic force that eventually possesses them. Despite the best efforts of Hector, his cousin Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh) and some pissed-off gangsters, Jesse ends up under demonic thrall and his friends all meet grisly ends.
Here's where it gets especially weird: there's time travel involved.
Before we get to that, lets just be clear: PA 2 - 4 writer Christopher Landon uses The Marked Ones as a gateway (no pun) to blow the Paranormal Activity franchise wide open into an entire shared universe (the game plan of most film studios, nowadays). This is no longer just the story of Katie, Kristi and their family's history with a demon named "Toby"; the revelations of The Marked Ones (specifically the investigative evidence collected by the doomed Oscar) show that Katie and Kristi's story is just a small part of a much larger campaign of demonic conquest, being spearheaded by a coven of evil witches.
It goes like this: The witches perform spells on pregnant women (who come to them as bargains and/or unwitting victims - the specifics are unclear); the women give birth; and upon reaching maturity, their first male children are "marked" for possession, and are eventually possessed in full. Such deals have been made all over the world, with multiple young men having up and vanished after grisly murders, presumably having been converted into demonic form for some yet unknown purpose.
In the case of Katie and Kristi: their family took an awfully long time to produce a male heir (Hunter in PA2), but their grandmother Lois (who is part of the witch coven) "marked" them as "demon brides" when they were children (seen in PA3), making it inevitable that the demon would one day come to collect the offspring he had been promised (Hunter). The demon tried to do this directly by attacking Kristi and her family (in PA2), but the Rey family threw a monkey-wrench into the plan by transferring the demonic force to Katie.
Katie was then "marked" by the demon's bite (in PA1 - see here) and eventually got possessed so that she could carry out the mission to collect Hunter, and disappear with him. Hunter was eventually adopted by another family and renamed, but soon Katie and another mysterious "adopted" boy came calling (in PA4). Hunter's adoptive family was killed, and last we saw, Hunter (now seemingly possessed) is left in the care of an army of demonic witch women.
SHORT VERSION: A demon is building an army, and he's using his loyal witch servants to do it by putting spells on pregnant women all over the world.
NEXT PAGE: Time-Travel & More Easter Eggs
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is now in theaters.