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‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’

by Kaori Shoji

Despite the unoffical verdict that the “found footage” genre is dead as the dodo, there are those who have a weakness for the stuff, namely myself. Forgive me if I seem predisposed toward “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” but it does breathe a bit of life into the found-footage cadaver.

Directed by Christopher Landon, “The Marked Ones” is the fifth installment in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise and the fact that most of the action takes place in a small, four-room apartment works marvelously in its favor. The protagonists, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz), are 18-year-old buddies, trying out a new camcorder on downstairs neighbor Anna (Gloria Sandoval), who they discover naked, engaged in some black magic ritual. That Anna never notices a camera hanging from the ceiling is just one of many found-footage hurdles. Still, the filmmakers do a fairly good job with the scares before gathering up the finale into a clever twist.

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