I hate scary movies. Despise them. Can’t stand them. Abhor them. The reasons why fluctuate depending on my mood and who’s asking, but one thing is constant: I can’t do them. However, there are always exceptions, and the Paranormal Activity series is my exception. The first Paranormal Activity enthralled me with how creative a film can be on a shoestring budget. Since then, the found camera theme and day/night cycle motifs have become staples, both stale and predictable, of the franchise.
2013 marks the first year a Paranormal Activity film won’t be released since 2009… and with good reason. Annual film sequels get stale and uninteresting, which is exactly what happened to the franchise after the second film. In lieu of skipping the Halloween season, the studio will release two Paranormal Activity films in 2014. The first is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. Originally intended to be a spiritual successor to the franchise, The Marked Ones is unofficially a “Latino” take on the Paranormal Activity mythos, complete with the original demon and more of a focus on Catholicism iconography. Since being rebranded as an official spin-off, direct references to the previous films are featured in the trailer.
What isn’t featured? Anything even remotely scary. Coming from somebody who’ll jump at any sudden movements in a film, this says a lot. Nevertheless, fans of the series can catch Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones in theaters January 3rd, 2014.