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Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

Coming Soon

The Paranormal Activity franchise has come a long way in run since first introducing Katie to eager theater audiences in 2009. Over the last six years we’ve been twisted, turned and tortured as the timeline for this popular ghost franchise has spread its story over a span of decades. Speaking on the entire body of work, it has been a joy taking part in the ever unfolding story of these paranormal events. And by taking part I mean watching from a distance. All good things must come to an end as it seems that Tobi is taking his toys and heading home in Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
Unlike last year’s failed attempt at a spin-off (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones), the plot of the sixth movie under the Paranormal Activity umbrella sticks with the familiar story that fans have become very intimate with over the past several years. A family moves into a new home only to find that there are strange unexplained things that go bump in the night. Things get interesting when Ryan’s (Chris J. Murray) brother, Mike (Dan Gill) shows up to crash at the house for a few days. Well maybe more like a few weeks. Ryan and Emily’s (Brit Shaw) daughter, Leila (Ivy George) loves when her uncle Mike is around because he’s all fun and games.
Mike stumbles across a box that contains an old VHS camcorder along with an ample amount of privately labeled video tapes. As curiosity gets the best of them, Ryan and Mike start to review the tapes becoming increasing interested in the recorded home movies of another family. As for the camera itself, it is unlike any camera that Ryan has ever come across. The unique recording device seems to have additional functionality that has him puzzled. In testing out the camera, Ryan assumes that the visual anomalies he’s seeing are simple artifacts that might come with old technology. As it turns out, that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. As each day passes in Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension everything becomes more and more in focus, then eventually crystal clear. Be careful what you wish for.
There is no reinvention of the wheel with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. New director Gregory Plotkin pretty much uses the first three movies as a blueprint or set of instructions as how to present his vision. And speaking of vision, after five movies done the franchise finally gives in to the usually gimmicky 3D. The effects are by no means groundbreaking but they do offer some distinct advantages. Much of the movie can be watched without the glasses due to the fact that it is post production 3D effects. The nice part to this is that those effects are only used when looking through the newly discovered camera, and even then, only the “activity” is happening in 3D. That adds a sense of immersion that has not happened in previous movies. Also when multiple cameras are used it’s very clear which is the normal camera and which is the one on paranormal steroids.
The acting was decently done with Dan Gill offering most, if not all of the comic relief. Since we’re dealing with events that happened in the past, there are other familiar faces scattered throughout. There are also a handful of jump moments, possibly more depending on your level of fear with these types of movies. The inevitable negative is from a realism perspective. And this isn’t a debate to whether ghosts are real or not. It’s a matter of how would people react if put into a similar situation. If your family has obvious threats against their well being why would anyone stick around rather than just calling it a day? With the horror genre this type of behavior is expected in Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Otherwise, the movies might only last ten minutes tops. So complaining about realism in a movie such as this is mostly a moot point.
The biggest issue with the Paranormal Activity franchise is that it overstayed its welcome. Had everything been condensed into a nice little trilogy, the quality level might have been higher overall. Countless movies and television shows have fallen into similar traps by chasing the almighty dollar. In most cases the talent wants to move on but the studios, who own the rights, do not necessarily feel the same way. The end results are often a watered down version of the original work. It’s all about that bottom line and that IS the bottom line here. Thankfully the end of the road is upon us as Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension looks to lead fans into the light. Maybe all of your answers won’t be explicitly answered on screen, but that’s what imagination and discussions are for. This last chapter (insert ominous question mark) is much needed and shouldn’t be skipped by those familiar with the previous films.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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