Release date: Oct. 23, 2015
Directed by: Gregory Plotkin
Starring: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George
It’s probably for the best the “Paranormal Activity” series is (allegedly) coming to an end. What began as a fun, cheap thrill has become as predictable as the found footage genre. The finale of the series, “The Ghost Dimension”, tries to answer all the vague questions that have been raised over the past four movies — five if you count last year’s “The Marked Ones” — but it freezes in its own spotlight, barely able to spit out a few mindless horror flick cliches before the final curtain.
I will admit, these movies have always been a guilty pleasure. I’ve never classified them as good horror but movies, but in the right environment, they can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, what has always worked before — the jump scares — seem lazy and uninspired this time around. Even the deaths feel as uninspired as the characters.
There is really no point in explaining the “plot”. There is a house and a camera. People live in the house. They have a kid. There are ties to previous movies between the house and the mysterious tapes they find. Of course the couple has a kid and Toby the demon wants in on that. So Toby does what Toby does…some paranormal activity. If you don’t know who or what a Toby is…it’s okay.
The big gimmick this time around comes with the 3D presentation. The victims — err, characters — find a camera that is rigged to pick up supernatural phenomenon. How convenient. At first it seems like a promising twist for both the found footage and 3D gimmick, but the fun wears off quickly. The more you see, the less scary it is. Aspiring filmmakers, remember this rule.
If you have been paying attention throughout the series — and yes, it pays to have seen at least a few of these movies to really understand the “mythology” about the demon known only as Toby — the filmmakers try to tie it all up in a nice neat bow, but it really feels like they are struggling to do anything besides the typical exorcisms and demon resurrections, which is pretty much where it’s heading.
“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” is the final nail in the coffin for a series that was lucky to have survived as long as it did. True horror fans are wise to steer clear (as you have no doubt since the series began in 2007) and even the target teenage audience might have a hard time finding any fun left in this bag of tricks.
MPAA rating: Rated R for language and some horror violence
Running time: 88 mins.