It is a new year in cinema, at least for everyone who isn’t still coked up from Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. Unfortunately, January tends to be a dumping ground where studios release all of the films that weren’t good enough to push for Oscar consideration or big enough to release during the summer tentpole season. I guess they figure everyone celebrated enough during the holidays and no one needs to get excited for cinema so early in the year.

There are some exceptions to the rule here, as Hercules, Frankenstein and Jack Ryan are characters that seem better suited for warm weather releases. Will they be the first blockbusters or 2014, or merely the first batch of disappointments? Take down the Christmas tree and hang those lights on our January preview, which starts off with a bang, or at least a bump in the night.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, the first follow-up to the utterly terrible Paranormal Activity 4, is something of a departure for the cheapo horror series, as it’s a Latino spinoff that takes the action out into the world, rather than just sticking it all inside a house with lots of cabinets for ghosts to open. (That’ll happen with Paranormal Activity 5, which comes out later this year.) The trailers make it seem like a step in a refreshing direction, but it still adheres to the found footage sub-genre so we won’t be expecting anything too markedly different. Expect this one to scare up a ton of money on a weekend with absolutely nothing else going for it.
Director: Christopher Landon
Stars: Andrew Jacobs, Molly Ephram, Richard Cabral
Release Date: January 3

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