“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” Review: Heavy on cheap scares, but light on actual substance
“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” answers some of our questions, but leaves us still asking more. However, is this really a bad thing? Produce Jason Blum told us in an interview that he wanted to get out while he was ahead, and that he didn’t want the franchise to grow too stale before they laid it to rest. Can you blame him? With this final entry we finally get to see Toby, we finally learn what all these witches have been up to, and we are left with an ending that is both satisfying and infuriating at the same time.
Some of the main questions a lot of people ask are: Who/Why is someone watching these tapes? Who edited them together? Unfortunately none of these questions are answered, and we are given a few more to ask, like: Who created this camera? Why was this camera created? What are all the children going to do now? What’s going on with Katie? and so on and so forth. While this entry to the 6 film deep franchise does offer some minor hints as to the many purposes, we are never clearly told. I do see the possibility of them going forward with a spin-off solo film, dealing with the repercussions of this and finishing answering some of these questions, but I don’t see how they could make it a found footage-esque type of situation or it happening.
One of the main things that always worked in this series was using humor to break up the tension. Whether it be from something that scared you, that you then realize was ridiculous, or be from one of the colorful characters on the screen. Our final outing has a great relationship between two brothers that are constantly giving each other crap, and that really helps ease tension between suspenseful scenes. Almost all of the new characters proved to not be entirely useless with exception to a ‘hot blonde’ stereotype that’s super into Yoga and Feng shui. Aside from giving us some minor exposition into Ghost Photography, which the film took zero time to lend her any sort of credibility on the subject, she was utterly useless. The little girl was cute until she became haunted, and then was downright creepy (as she’s supposed to be). The major blessing here is, aside from a dizzying experience with the 3D, the camerawork never seemed inexplicable as everyone on-screen knew why they needed to record, and they were all ok with it.
As a whole, this franchise has never been truly incredible. The first found major success in the uniqueness of the experience, but not for the story, and that trend continues. While we are finally given a good look at Toby, and finally get answers as to what all of this is for, it still leaves us with an hour worth of shadows and things moving around for cheap scares. While it’s sure to give people some nightmares, and provide for some really solid jump-from-your-seat moments, nothing about it will really stand the test of time with exception to how it all ended. Without revealing anything I can say I was pretty satisfied with how they chose to close out this franchise, and my hats off to them for going out in a way that’s sure to upset many. 3/5