The Marked Ones follows two teenage friends, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz), as they sink into a hidden world of evil. The murder of a rumored witch occurs inside a Latino apartment complex, leaving Jesse and Hector to commit an unforgivable horror movie sin: investigate a creepy murder site. Despite their impetuous stupidity, Jacobs and Diaz bring a youthful credibility to the film.
Fans of the franchise might consider the spinoff nature of the film to be a deal breaker, but the new mythology more than makes up for any perceived shortcomings. The growing origin adds depth and power to The Midwives’ shrouded history and agenda. Feeling more like Chronicle than a standard horror film, The Marked Ones opens new doors to “unholy places”. This is my favorite of the five films thus far, and I credit most of that to writer/director, Christopher Landon and his need to tell an actual compelling story. You can expect some standardized scares, but the subtle, unfolding details surfacing in the background stand out.
The atmosphere of the film is suffocating at times, never letting the viewer forget what’s at stake. Much like Paranormal Activity 4, this one left me wanting another film to expand the darkest recesses of its secrets. The franchise is expanding its mythology and creativity rather late in the game, taking us on twisted left turns on the way to the end. It’s widely accepted to hate on these movies, but this entry deserves recognition for its foreboding story and tense scares.
Oh, and, thank God, creepy Robbie is nowhere to be seen.