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.
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USA Today's Claudia Puig agrees that the sequel "injects new life into the tired franchise," adding, "It's a welcome update, qualifying as the best in the series since the first film captivated and unnerved audiences in But it also has more fresh humor, viable scares and character development than the past few sequels. It's easy to become invested in the welfare of this charismatic cast and to feel trepidation when they encounter hazards. 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.
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," "Chronicle," "Project X" and "an assortment of other films that weren't all that original to begin with.
Unfortunately, Ebiri says, "a change in setting doesn't forebode a change in tactics, and this 'Paranormal Activity' still traffics in the same tired setups and obvious scares as the earlier ones. The camera wildly pans one way, there's nothing; the camera wildly pans the other way, there's nothing; the camera wildly pans back and ohmygodthere'ssomething!
The Toronto Star's Peter Howell has also had enough of the found-footage genre, writing, "The novelty has long been crushed like a Halloween pumpkin under a steamroller, thanks to countless imitators who also corrupted what 'found footage' actually means. The term is now indiscriminately applied to any movie that uses an excessive amount of hand-held camerawork, bad sound and ragged editing. Howell continues: "By now this rapidly deflating franchise should be titled 'Paranormal Stupidity,' because the characters insist on doing all the wrong things. If you receive an error message, please contact your library for help.
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