Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) Jesse buys a handheld camera with his graduation money to record the teenage antics of he and his best friend, Hector. When a lady from their apartment complex, whom they refer to as “Bruja” (that’s “witch” for you white people) turns up murdered, they sneak into her apartment after dark, where Jesse becomes possessed by a spirit. At first it’s fun and games for Jesse, who thinks he’s invincible after thwarting an attempted beat-down by the neighborhood cholos, and competing several successful skateboard jumps, but before long his demeanor turns mean and violent and his friends and family are now in danger. They eventually become in touch with Katie, from all the other Paranormal Activity flicks, and this movie ends up tying into the continuing story just fine. One gimmick I found amusing was that they communicated with the spirit via an electronic “Simon” game! I’m not a huge fan of the P.A. franchise, in fact this is the first one I saw in a theater, but I find them entertaining enough, and it wouldn’t appear they’re going to stop making them anytime soon.
Devil’s Due (2014) A newlywed couple unknowingly gets roofie-raped during their South American honeymoon. They come back home, discover they’re having a baby, and the wife becomes increasingly strange as the due date nears. The husband suspects something isn’t right, and starts to uncover the clues that something Satanic could be at work. Now every “found footage” horror film has the problem that a time will come where it becomes too hard to believe that the shooter hasn’t put the camera down due to the fact that his life is in danger, but you just let that go because it’s not a movie without it. This guy had a camera in his hungover wife’s face in bed telling her to get up or they’ll miss the plane. That’s a punch in the face from anybody I know. And later he stuck his camera in the face of a hospitalized priest. Who would do that? I immediately disliked these characters, therefore had no interest in what was happening to them. They mentioned a dozen times how the wife was an orphan, but barely any mention of how they can live in a rich-people house when neither of the go to work. There were a few interesting visuals, such as a priest coughing up blood during a sermon and a few teens meeting some unexpected violence in the woods, but it was long boring ride to get that far. Thumbs down. Way down.