Since Paranormal Activity arrived in 2009, the plan seemed to be for the franchise to take Saw’s place and churn out a new installment each Halloween. Trouble is, even though Paranormal Activity 5 was announced and given an October 25, 2013 due date almost immediately after film four hit theaters, that didn’t end up happening.
In July of 2013, news broke that Paranormal Activity 5 was uprooted from that original release and plopped back down in January 2014. A move like that was alarming considering Paranormal Activity seemed to have been making the push to turn the films into a Halloween staple, but at the same time The Devil Inside, Texas Chainsaw 3D and Mama all recently proved that January was prime time for horror. Well, it turns out, the Paranormal Activity series wants to reap the benefits of both debut dates.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones would ultimately get that January 2014 slot, but that didn’t mean it was Paranormal Activity 5. Paranormal Activity 5 is its own entity and it’s going to attempt to reclaim Halloween on October 24, 2014.
This begs the question: is this the new plan? Will we continue to get one new Paranormal Activity movie and also one new Marked Ones movie each year? It sounds like demonic-entity overdose, but it could be a genius move. We’ve seen the Marvel universe expand laterally; why not Paranormal Activity, too? Best of all, longtime series writer Christopher Landon did a masterful job layering up the narratives and sneaking in Easter eggs to suggest that the Paranormal Activity mythology could go one step beyond a franchise and sustain its own universe.
The Marked Ones absolutely has flaws, particularly a lack of inventive and effective scares, and the film didn’t even open at number one, but there’s still no denying that it leaves you with loads to think about, especially because we’ve got another Paranormal Activity movie eight months away. PA 5 has to feel the effects of the big reveals in The Marked Ones, so if we take into consideration the new information that just surfaced there and the pieces of the story we’re still missing, there are three prime scenarios that could make for juicy future installments:
Warning: The rest of this article contains spoilers from all five films of the Paranormal Activity series.
Turns out, Ali (Molly Ephraim) didn’t just roll over and die after the demon destroyed her family. She’s back in The Marked Ones and she’s been studying up on what exactly happened to her father, Kristi and baby Hunter.
In The Marked Ones, we learn that crazy old ladies like Anna are “marking” baby boys in the womb and then those boys grow up and become possessed, turning into an army of sorts for the demon in charge. You know what you need when you’ve got a demon army on your hands? You need demon hunters, and that’s where Ali should come back in.
Let’s say that after Katie ran off with Hunter, Ali mourned her family for a bit and then vowed to get revenge, tracking down other survivors with demon-killing know-how and going to work trying to destroy the witches hanging out in Lois’ house – Katie and Kristi’s grandmother’s house from film three.
Katie and Kristi: The Teen Years
Thanks to Paranormal Activity 3, we know Katie and Kristi had an unconventional childhood and eventually turned into possessed little zombies that time-traveled to Jesse’s possession ceremony in The Marked Ones. But, when we meet both Katie and Kristi in Paranormal Activity 1 and 2, they’re seemingly normal. They’re somewhat aware of what went down when they were kids, but not disturbed enough to be in an asylum, so what happened in between?
In The Marked Ones, it’s explained that only baby boys get marked. However, in Katie and Kristi’s case, they were chosen in hopes that one day they’ll add more baby boys to the group. Odds are the ladies would have a tough time finding potential fathers with those creepy black eyes, so perhaps they get some time off. Then, once they serve their purpose, like Kristi, that’s that.
So, should film five return to their storyline, we’ve got a whole chunk of the girls’ lives left completely untapped. What were they up to during their school days? Did they think they were normal, but unknowingly go on late-night sleepwalks? Plus, considering Katie begs Kristi not to talk about the horrors of their childhood and Kristi’s husband, Daniel Rey, and her housekeeper, Martine, deliberately transfer the demon from Kristi to Katie, there’s a good chance there was once some sibling rivalry worth exploring at a point.
More Marked Ones
It’s highly likely that Paranormal Activity 5 will return to Katie and Kristi’s story, but The Marked Ones series could and should continue to explore demonic possessions beyond their situation. Jesse’s tale was a nice baby step out of that world, introducing new characters and divulging more secrets about this disturbing ritual, but considering Jesse lived in driving distance of Lois’ house and also where The Marked Ones left off, it still functioned as a piece of that original story. But why stop there?
Now that we know this demon isn’t out to possess a handful of people, but rather an entire army and that the people involved have the ability to jump through doors and wind up in different places at completely different times, that means this practice could be happening everywhere. Plus, not only does that leave the franchise, or rather the spin-off franchise, with an unlimited choice of locations, but The Marked Ones also proves that the concept can function as a successful character piece. It is unfortunate that The Marked Ones isn’t scary enough to keep you up at night like the three original films, but it’s still a highly entertaining watch because Jesse, his friends and family are likable, interesting people. With strong new characters and fresh environments at the core, the possibilities are truly endless for a spin-off series that introduces us to more and more marked ones.
What do you think? Do you have another idea for a future Paranormal Activity plot? Sound off below!
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