Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is another dud of a sequel in a franchise that should’ve stopped at #3 in making for at least a endurable enough trilogy. While this entry is tolerable, it’s still really bad and tedious with little actual scares and once gain relies on jump scares more than anything.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Paramount | Unrated/R – 87 min. / 95 min. / 97 min. – $34.98 | January 12, 2016
Date Published: 01/15/2015 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
The Paranormal Activity franchise is like a relationship. The first one there’s some excitement; #2 and 3 you settle down into some sort of normalcy, almost comfort, though strain is starting to show; #4 cracks begin to form; #5 the relationship has fallen apart and is over; and finally #6 the cops need to be called and a restraining order is drawn up.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is supposedly going to be the final film in a franchise that, if I’m being generous, really could’ve and should’ve stopped at the third entry. But we get six adventures with mostly dumb ass and utterly bland characters more or less doing the same things.
The film takes up where Paranormal Activity 3, taking place in 1988, left off with Grandma Lois leads her two grandchildren, Katie and Kristi, up the stairs followed by an entity which takes the all important video camera. We next find the girls being told their significance to the plans for Toby which is the name of the evil entity.
25 years later, we meet the Fleege family about to celebrate the Christmas season: husband Ryan (CHRIS J. MURRAY), wife Emily (BRIT SHAW), their young daughter Leila (IVY GEORGE), Ryan’s brother Mike (DAN GILL) and Emily’s sister Skylar (OLIVIA TAYLOR DUDLEY). The house is perfectly suited for videotaping with a central locale around the fireplace, kitchen off to one side and the upstairs has several bedrooms.
While decorating the exterior, Mike stumbles upon a box not belonging to the family, inside several VHS tapes and an old school camera. For one reason or another, Ryan decides to continue using it and while filming, discovers some strange anomalies in the living room. This would expand to more sightings, for which only can be seen on this vintage camera and worse yet, while watching the tapes, it would appear the girls on it (Katie and Kristi) are reciting something and at one point can even have a vision of the going-ons at the Fleeges.
I think you know where this is going, if you’ve ever bothered to watch the other films. Leila is the central target of the entity as she is needed for a specific purpose: to give physical form to the entity named Toby. Little by little, the girl’s personality begins to change, strange happenings occur, including Leia’s attempts to burn pages from her mother’s treasured Bible. The parents eventually call in a priest (MICHAEL KRAWIC) in the hopes of saving her before it was too late.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is tolerable but still bad. It also has, yet again for the series, some of the dumbest characters though this group probably takes the cake considering the amount of evidence collected using the modified camera able to see the entity, and one has to wonder why these parents would stick around as long as they had before attempting to leave. Heck, they even didn’t bother removing the symbols surrounding their daughter’s bed which would later be the doorway to “The Ghost Dimension.” Idiots.
Then you add in how a camera going on 20+ years old could look as good as it does, goes beyond suspension of disbelief. Yeah, I know if it were true to life it’d be even harder to watch the movie but it’s still striking it had HD quality…
The acting I suppose isn’t terrible however with a script — by Jason Harry Pagan & Andrew Deutschman (Project Almanac) and Adam Robitel & Gavin Heffernan (The Taking of Deborah Logan) — so poorly written, I wouldn’t expected any more from them considering the lines, not to mention exposition, they had to utter. So all in all, they did just as well as any of the other actors in the previous five movies… for whatever that’s worth. I will say, I did like Olivia Taylor Dudley who I’ve taken notice of in a variety of films over the last couple of years.
The film was helmed by Gregory Plotkin marking his directorial debut following a career in the editing bay working on PA 3-5 so at least it’s keeping the tradition started by the Saw franchise. I don’t know how much I can blame Plotkin because the style and substance of the movie is limited and confining. The found footage premise, which has gotten out of hand and unfortunately still permeates the industry because they’re cheap to make, aren’t very scary and filmmakers heavily rely on the jump scare, another annoyance in modern day horror.
As it is, I genuinely hope Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is the last one of these but considering the low budget nature, it wouldn’t surprise me if we get another in the next couple of years, or worse yet, some kind of semi-reboot because in spite of having the worst opening, it still managed to make $78 million worldwide on a $10 million budget.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
|This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. The 3-discs are housed in a standard Blu-ray case and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Extended Version (1:37:22; HD) and Extended Version with Alternate Ending (1:35:09; HD) – I chose to watch the theatrical version, as a rule of thumb I always will watch and review the cut released by the director and/or studio, so I can’t comment on what is new but from my sampling, there are a few extra scenes one involving the entity dressed, for some reason, like Santa.
Lost Footage (20:08; HD) is a collection of 9 scenes that were cut from the final release. There’s really nothing of note and honestly, I’m glad the film was shorter for it.
2D VIDEO – 4.0/5 | 3D VIDEO — 3.0/5
|Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension crosses over courtesy of Paramount presented in its original theatrical 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. As with the previous installments, these are made to look like they were filmed using a standard camera and although the picture quality far exceeds that in reality, it still is limited. Detail isn’t terrible but not entirely sharp and colors tend to be more muted than vibrant. However, there are no major instances of artifacts or aliasing so in that regard it is clean.
The 3D for a film like this is really pointless. Although there were a couple of scenes, specifically ones having to do with the entity, has some depth perception, the rest is rather flat. Colors are also drab so it looks even darker in some instances. Is it a horrible 3D transfer? No, not quite but it is apparent it was only applied to bump the ticket prices (which still didn’t help).
AUDIO – 3.75/5
|The film comes with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which is serviceable enough. Dialogue generally sounds pleasing and rather clear, and when the… paranormal activity… ratchets up, the lossless track gets ramped up and even the LFE track kicks in. Bumps in the night come through the rear channels while the central action makes fine usage of the center track. While by no means is this anything amazing, it is still good enough for the type of film Paranormal Activity is.|
OVERALL – 2.0/5
|Overall, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is another dud of a sequel in a franchise that should’ve stopped at #3 in making for at least a endurable enough trilogy. While this entry is tolerable, it’s still really bad and tedious with little actual scares and once gain relies on jump scares more than anything. This Blu-ray release offers good enough video and audio but once again, as with its predecessors, is limited in special features.|
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.