Did you think that the nightmare was over, just because there isn't going to be a new Paranormal Activity movie opening in theaters this year? Well, guess again, because in 2014 we'll be getting two new additions to the found-footage box office behemoth. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - otherwise known as the Paranormal Activity Latino spinoff - will kick-off the new year, before Paranormal Activity 5 arrives on a more customary October launch date.
The Marked Ones was previously reported to take place in a parallel universe relative to the other films in the Paranormal Activity series, but the newly-unveiled trailer reveals that this is not the case after all. Far from it, the trailer footage for this spinoff movie (which, as the preview informs us, takes place in a heavily Latino-populated region of California in the year 2012) contains explicit references to Katie and Kristi from the other films. Moreover, it seems as though The Marked Ones will attempt to better tie-in the mythology developed throughout Paranormal Activity 1-3 with the muddled events in Paranormal Activity 4.
Update: Check out the International Trailer:
While the trip deeper into secret witch coven territory and demonic possession (with Catholic spiritual overtones) could be interesting, the trailer for The Marked Ones suggests that the movie recycles many a familiar scare tactics from the other Paranormal Activity films (characters mysteriously disappearing/reappearing, panicked camera movement, etc). Not to mention, the supernatural trickery on display feels likes a weak retread of the thrills in Chronicle and its story of teens imbued with telekinetic powers. (In fairness, though, the gross-out scene with the main character removing something from his eye is more effective.)
Christopher Landon wrote and directed The Marked Ones, having previously served as only the screenwriter on Paranormal Activity 2-4. He seems to have the found-footage directorial approach down pat, but the Marked Ones trailer doesn't suggest that Landon's succeeded in mixing things up much, in terms of the horror and story progression. Then again, maybe a member of the largely-unkown cast - featuring Richard Cabral, Jorge Diaz, Eddie J. Fernandez, David Fernandez Jr., Kimberly Ables Jindra, Tonja Kahlens, Carlos Pratts and Frank Salinas - will prove to be an unexpected standout
In short: pending any surprises, The Marked Ones doesn't look terrible, but there's little that seems innovative or memorable about it either (which might explain why it was pushed to the January 2014 dumping ground, instead of being moved up to make a Halloween 2013 release). Be sure and let us know if you agree/disagree in the comments section.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opens in U.S. theaters on January 3rd, 2014.