Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
The Ghost Dimension is the final nail in the Paranormal Activity series coffin, offering up answers to the series-long questions in a way that feels empty and rushed. The 3D is just one of many early indications that this series needs to be stopped. Faithful fans will be disappointed and newcomers won't find anything of value.
Gregory Plotkin‘s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is the promised “final” installment of the series, promoting that all questions will be answered and that you will finally be able to see the activity with your own eyes, via the always promising 3D gimmick. Sadly, The Ghost Dimension is another dull entry, sort of offering up half-answers that feel rushed and empty, while also trying its hardest to fuse found-footage with 3D. The series’ previous installment showed hope and optimism for the series, presenting a new direction, while The Ghost Dimension simply feels like another shitty Paranormal Activity sequel. Thankfully it’s over, because clearly the imagination train left the station after the first film and things have been fluttering out slowly ever since.
The Ghost Dimension follows a new family as they find a weird camera and a set of tapes that reveal Katie and her sister as a child. This ties things closely into the first four films, while basically ignoring the highly under-rated spinoff dubbed The Marked Ones.
The film follows the family’s dad and brother as they discover that their new camera shows a new dimension, where spirits like the infamous Toby can be seen in a black sludgy form.
The rest unravels in typical Paranormal fashion, which means cameras being set up around the house to best capture the jump scares, only this time the added 3D dimension promises to literally throw things directly at your face.
The Ghost Dimension does a better job with its pacing, trading out the slow night build ups and constant rumbling and annoying audio for a film that just dives right into the paranormal with ease.
Also, this family isn’t completely idiotic and the main characters aren’t completely unlikable dumb asses, which makes this one instantly better than 2-4 on basic principle.
But the heart of the franchise beats weakly, with most of the story presenting itself as a rushed explanation for the entire series, connecting things in a loose and almost uninspired way that makes the whole film feel like a last-minute decision to close out the series before the profits start dipping too low into the negative, despite the series’ cheap budget and decent earn backs still keeping a decent line between risk and success.
Clearly audiences aren’t nearly as interested in the series anymore and the studio doesn’t seem to be either, which makes The Ghost Dimension feel like a thank you and a fuck you at the very same time.
Fans that have clung to the series, hoping for answers and a giant resolution are going to be utterly disappointed, because The Ghost Dimension wraps things up very loosely and doesn’t even bother showing you the good stuff.
I can’t explain that without dipping into spoilers, so I’ll just avoid it.
I don’t need to tell fans not to see this one, because they’re going to want to end the series and I don’t blame them, but be warned that questions are answered in the most basic of ways.
Newcomers to the series will probably be confused as to how this franchise has managed to churn out six entries, because there’s nothing new for the horror genre to awe over.
The found-footage approach has run its course, while the jump scares keep becoming more and more telegraphed.
The only value in The Ghost Dimension is the acting, which is finally not horrid, yet even that feels like a waste a talent for a film series that is almost always about killing everybody off and focusing more on the demonic backstory that always remains a mystery.
At least the spinoff film attempted to take the series in a new direction and give us something that we haven’t seen a million times over.
The Ghost Dimension falls directly in line with the first four films, minus the actual scares that worked wonders in the original film.
Everything has been too diluted and milked for The Ghost Dimension to stand on its own and the burning questions have built up too much hype for this to serve as the true finale without any sort of disappointment to be felt.
I’m sure this is the final Paranormal Activity film from Paramount for now at least, until people beg for more, but even then I doubt that they will and I doubt that anybody will want to revive this clearly dead franchise.
It’s too bad, because things may have been solved more proper if the writers were given more time, but that also means that you have to credit them with having an actual game plan. I believe that they honestly were making this stuff up as they went and that none of it was going to tie together until they were told to do so by the higher ups and the studio and that’s on display clearly in The Ghost Dimension.
Nothing ever adds up in a rewarding way and instead in a way that makes sense for those that have followed the series, but only on the barest of levels.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is a disappointing conclusion to a series that once had some promise. If you’re going to bother with this one at all then be sure to see it in 3D, because the added dimension does bring the scares out and help the film feel different on at least one minimal level, but it also reveals just how desperate they were when trying to come up with ideas to give this film purpose. The ending simply reveals that there was never any purpose to begin with and that we were fooled all along.
Thanks a lot guys.