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Maybe you’re thinking “ugh…again?” when you hear another Paranomal Activity movie will be released. After all, in recent memory, it’s tough to find a new horror franchise that packs more than a couple installments. The Friday the Thirteenth and Nightmare on Elm Street days seem to be well over. But, we assure you, with the Paranormal Activity franchise, there are plenty of fresh scares and lasting jitters in each of the movies.

Enter: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. We hungrily scoured the internet for this trailer when it was released. But, why? Haven’t we gotten our fill of the shaky-cam, security-angle ghostliness in the last (not two, not three) four movies? The short answer: no.

Each Paranormal Activity movie is unique and packs its own punch. The first was rather subtle, as it established the concept. The second film upped the ante just enough, providing us with more angles and more characters. Number three established the pre-story and added yet more angles (namely an oscillating camera, which is way scarier than it sounds). And in last year’s addition to the franchise filmmakers incorporated Skype and motion tracking technology.

The Marked Ones

So, how has this movie evolved from its predecessors? Well, to start, this movie is more of a “sidebar” than a direct sequel. You could argue against that, but this movie clearly adds depth, rather than continuing original plot.

While the other four movies undoubtedly take place in the peace, quiet and familiarity of classic suburbia (arguably one of the main reasons for most viewers’ lingering insomnia), this new installment takes place in a not-so-gentrified, tight-knit Hispanic community.

The main character is a young male who has repeated run-ins with local troublemakers and gang bangers (there may be a drug rehab aspect here). Then, of course, the “when is he going to be possessed” question comes into play. Additional footage teases the presence of Katie and the classic “local medicine woman” character.

Worth Seeing? 

For us, this movie is totally worth seeing. If not for the aforementioned franchise track record—come on, you’ve seen four, you might as well keep going until the movies fizzle out — then at least for the new(ish) concept. As we said, the new movie takes place essentially in the hood. So, the safety and familiarity for most viewers isn’t there anymore. So, how will the scares play out when they aren’t juxtaposed with a quiet, cozy Pleasantville setting?  We’re definitely curious.

The bottom line, whether you agree or not, the Paranormal Activity franchise has staked their claim to mainstream horror history in a huge way. And with such a high profit margin (the first one was made with a budget in only five figures), it is here to stay.

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The Author

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and movie-geek. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son, writing about movies and beyond. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blog,