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Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review

  • Release Date: Jan 03, 2014
  • Rated: Pervasive Language, Graphic Nudity, Some Drug Use and Some Violence
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 24 min.
  • Genres: Horror, Suspense/Thriller
  • Director:Gregory Plotkin, Christopher Landon Critics


Dave White Profile

Death stalks another camera. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    If The Marked Ones is mildly brilliant in the first half, it stumbles witlessly into its own dumb pentagram in the second.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The New York Times Neil Genzlinger

    The changes — goodbye, white suburbia; hello, gritty diversity — recharge the batteries somewhat. But there’s no escaping that the found-footage phenomenon has gone from fresh and original to just plain annoying.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Andrew Barker

    The haunted house setpieces provide reliable doses of jolts, even if one can see the scaffolding of each scare being built from miles away, and director Landon has fun with some clever camera placement here and there.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Justin Lowe

    The script succeeds by expanding the Paranormal Activity mythology with additional details and even a few surprising twists.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Mark Olsen

    The Marked Ones is refreshingly uncynical and straightforward in its desire to simply be a movie that makes the audience jump and be scared. It's a fun fright film and wants to be nothing more.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's a welcome update, qualifying as the best in the series since the first film captivated and unnerved audiences in 2007.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Plenty of violence in fifth installment of horror series.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth in the successful, found-footage horror series. Violence includes only a little blood, but characters fire guns and we see some dead bodies, plus some fighting, a car crash, a tormented dog, and some scary, ghostly images. Some full-frontal female nudity is shown, and a sex act nearly happens, but is interrupted. Language is very strong, with near-constant use of "f--k" and "s--t." Teens smoke pot, there's some very brief drinking, and alcohol seems readily available in this world. After the drop in quality and enthusiasm after Paranormal Activity 4, it's not likely that teens will hold a sustained interested in this sequel.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Was it gruesome or overdone? Is it used for suspense, or for shock? Was the movie scary? What is the appeal of horror movies like this one?
  • Was the movie's sex and sexual innuendo gratuitous, or did it seem healthy? Are the characters too young?
  • How did you feel about teens having access to pot and alcohol throughout the movie? Did the consequences for drug and alcohol use seem realistic?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The portrait of the Latino community is a welcome addition to the movie series, andmany of the main characters are generally well meaning, but ultimately, this is a horror movie without many redeeming messages.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Characters represent an interesting cross-section of mostly Latino folks, ranging from young to old, bad to good. There's one caring, giving grandmother character, but otherwise, the main characters are simply curious teens who get into trouble and the other characters range from gangsters to other shady, spooky types.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: In one scene, heavy artillery -- shotguns, etc. -- are pulled and a couple of witches are "blown away," though no blood is shown. There's an attempted mugging, and some punching and fighting. A character commits suicide by jumping from a height; his body lands on a car and smashes it up. Another body is thrown through a glass skylight and lands on the floor. A character tries to choke another character, while a third bashes the attacker with a baseball bat. A woman is shown at the bottom of some stairs, with her head smashed and a pool of blood underneath. There's a car crash. A severed cow head is shown as part of a witches' ritual pentagram. A dog appears to be tormented in one scene. Otherwise, there's some creepy, ghostly imagery.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Some full-frontal female nudity. Characters spy on a neighbor through an air vent, and a fully-naked woman is seen standing motionless. Another woman is shown from behind in the same scene. In one scene, the main character attempts to have sex with a young woman. She takes off her top and shows her bra. She asks him to get a condom, but their sexual activity is interrupted. A character draws a penis on a sleeping friend's face. Otherwise, there's some brief innuendo and sexual suggestion.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" and "s--t" are used almost constantly throughout. Occasionally, "p---y," "dick," "t-ts," "bitch," and "boner" are used.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A "Simon" electronic logic game is used as part of the plot.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens are shown smoking pot in one scene. They are also seen with ready access to alcohol, though they are rarely shown drinking. There's some very brief drinking at a party. A teen gives alcohol to his grandmother, and teens are seen with beer bottles sitting on a table.