Not to be confused with Paranormal Activity 5, the upcoming Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a spin-off tale of terror that takes the creepy evil forces we've come to know and fear from the first four films to terrorize a new batch of victims. The latest bid in their online campaign asks flat out "Will you be the first?" The first for what? Nothing good. Even in this brief video we see a girl get grabbed, a home's contents thrown into the air by unseen beasts, and the doomed figures of Kristi and Katie as nightgown-clad girls with bottomless pits for eyes. "He's ready for you," they offer warmly, and yet it's spine-tingling.
The final title card asks you to "Join the hunt on December 6th." As Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones doesn't open until next year, it's not the film's release this clip is teasing. Instead it seems to be setting up an online scavenger hunt of some sort. But to what end? My guess is this is the beginnings of a contest to get cities/moviegoers to bid for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opening in their town ahead of its release. The franchise's prior films were typically played ahead of time to eager audiences whose recorded reactions--from screaming to leaping out of their seats--became a major part of the movie's marketing.
Last year, Paranormal Activity 4 used a ploy on Facebook to arouse fan fervor. By using a "Want it" app, fans of the freaky film series were able to mark their location on a map that was tallying interest across the United States. Paramount promised to bring the film to the top 25 cities to declare their want ahead of its October 19th release. So I suspect this hunt will be Paranormal Activity's next incarnation of competition-based viral marketing. If you want to see Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones before anyone else, keep up with the film on facebook.
Made to play to the Latino community that's turned out in force for this franchise so far, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones features a Latino cast and ties the series' existing mythology more closely to Catholic iconography and beliefs. Andrew Jacobs fronts this "cousin" to the Paranormal Activity movies as Jesse, a young man who seems doomed when a strange mark makes him the target of mysterious forces. Can his family and friends save him from these powers of darkness? We'll find out when Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opens on January 3rd. In the meantime, revisit the frightening flick's trailers: