Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and it's Mastery of Mise en Scene

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" (2014, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Paranormal Activity finally leaves the bedroom, 100% of this film is shot on handy cam, and things get so crazy it ends up feeling like a long video in a "V/H/S" film. The Marked Ones is the best Paranormal Activity by far." - 5 Stars

Huntress - "After the craziness started I couldn't relax till the end credits. Easily my favorite in the series." - 5 Stars

The Impostor - "The Marked Ones gets the series back on track. Funny, likable characters, nice jump scares and a new approach to the series makes the marked ones a must watch for any horror fan." - 5 Stars

The Great Hornito - "The Paranormal Activity series is my favorite movie series and this spin off did not disappoint. The characters were very likable and the story was as scary as ever. The writing was spectacular, they made all the previous movies make more sense and offered a unique story to go with it. This movie was almost my favorite since part one. I can't wait to see it again." - 5 Stars

Ice Giant - "Paranormal Activity has hit it's stride. Likable characters, an excellent story, didn't throw out needless questions and answered a few of the more annoying ones. By far the best entry in the series and I hope a sign of things to come." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I never would have guessed that a Paranormal Activity film would be the first to receive a perfect score but here I am about to write about how awesome The Marked Ones is. A couple weeks ago, The Impostor told me he had been watching  the Paranormal Activity website waiting for the RSVPs to go up. The website had a game set up where they took a photo of a building and gave a brief clue as to where it is located, and when the first Paranormal Activity fan finally finds the location, the RSVP for that city would open. By the time I had gone on the website, San Francisco was already open. The date of the show happened to fall on Friday the 13th, and with that being the final straw, I was officially very excited.

After a brutal week of waiting, the date finally came up. We gathered at the theatre and began screening "Paranormal Activity 2", and we got about 40 min in before we decided it was time to wait in line. The San Francisco Metrion is only a 20 min drive from my house, but we left about 4 1/2 hours early. With traffic and a parking hunt, we were in line about 3 hours early, which honestly flew by, talking about horror films and hanging out with the paranormal priest (seen below) making for a lot of fun.

Normally these lines have old ladies with babies in them and of course the babies seem to like crying through R rated films, but to my surprise there was not 1 old lady or baby in this line. I was so excited at this point that I knew the movie could never hold up.

The line started moving before we knew it and upon showing our tickets to the usher we were given two vouchers 1 for a free popcorn & soda and another for a free shirt (which I ended up getting a few of). And as if that wasn't cool enough, we got perfect seats. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect, not too high or close and dead center. The show was being hosted by 106.6 KMEL, a bay area radio station that plays R&B and rap, not my cup of tea but still cool that they were there.  Now with all that said, I realize I had an awesome experience and that alone easily could have enhanced the film, and with that out there I feel comfortable speaking about the film. The Marked Ones was so good that the young crowd that was in attendance was completely silent throughout the entirety of the film, excluding the begining of the film which like all good found footage is light hearted and funny.

Without giving anything thing away about the marked ones, here are a few things you can expect from the film. First there are no more recordings of people sleeping and a door slamming, in fact the camera is constantly being operated by a person. The film is not afraid to elaborate on the lore of the Paranormal Activity universe, in fact it even explains some things that happened in past films.

The main reason I loved this film so much is the fact it involved witchcraft and went way more into the occult side of the series as opposed to just hauntings, and it really does feel like a V/H/S story. The other thing I loved about the film was its mastery of mise en scene. The Marked Ones truly makes each shot feel real and authentic which really amplifies the horror. The characters houses and rooms feel lived in, not like Micah and Katies mostly empty set-like house. The Latin culture also works well with the occult aspect of this film and the characters also react in a believable manor, unlike the typical skeptic dads. But what I really thought was awesome was they way they familiarize the audience to locations, which of course amplifies the horror. Knowing how close the room is that is making the scary noise is very big and in a found footage film it's also terrifying. The best part is when they reveal past locations... I wont give away more than that though, I promise.

It turns out to be a lot harder than I thought to comment on this film without getting into the awesome stuff they did. I hope explaining how excited we were to see this film and how happy we were with it after is enough to get you to buy a ticket.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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