As the absence of a numeral and a non-
The Times' Mark Olsen is in the first group, writing, "The new film shifts from the suburban anxieties of the white middle class to a group of Latino teenagers in an apartment complex. The change is sharp, giving the new film some much-needed freshness." Regarding writer-director Christopher Landon, who also wrote for the earlier sequels, Olsen says, "His film doesn't have anywhere near the formal inventiveness of the third or fourth 'Paranormal' films. It also has no such aspirations, as '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."
But plenty of other critics find themselves in the naysayer camp. The Wrap's Alonso Duralde writes,"While it's exciting to see a hit series take on an almost entirely Latino cast as just a matter of course, the new zigs only barely balance out all the familiar zags." He adds, "If you've already jumped off this bandwagon, or have considered doing so after the last few movies, there's not much in 'The Marked Ones' that will compel you to follow the camera-operating protagonist down another dark hallway."
Bilge Ebiri of New York magazine says "The Marked Ones" feels like a rehash of not only the earlier "Paranormal" films, but also "The Blair Witch Project,"
Unfortunately, Ebiri says, "a change in setting doesn't forebode a change in tactics, and this
Howell continues: "By now this rapidly deflating franchise should be titled 'Paranormal Stupidity,' because the characters insist on doing all the wrong things. … 'The Marked Ones' isn't very scary and it's not very funny, so really, what's the point? Oh, I forgot — it's to make a pile of money, again."
Whether "The Marked Ones" will indeed make a pile of money remains to be seen, but, regardless, we haven't heard the last of the franchise: "Paranormal Activity 5" is scheduled for the series' regular pre-Halloween slot in October.