Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review


By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

When it comes to horror and suspense films, opinions vary on what makes quality viewing. Yet there have been films which set standards for future films to follow. The original Exorcist film had people losing sleep at night while The Blair Witch Project was thought, initially, to have been actual found footage of people who had died from a witch. Then came Paranormal Activity, another found footage film, made on a micro budget of around $15,000 that left audiences screaming and afraid to sleep with their legs out of the blankets at night, with some still having that fear. Five Paranormal Activity movies later, a sixth and final film arrives in theaters, tying up all loose ends and putting the pieces together we’ve puzzled about over the last eight years. Ladies and gentlemen, the final film of the series, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.


Ryan (Chris J. Murray) and Emily (Brit Shaw) have recently moved into a new home in Palo Alto, CA with their young daughter, Leila (Ivy George). Ryan’s younger brother, Mike (Dan Gill) comes to stay with the family after a bad breakup. The two brothers happen to find an old box with video tapes and an old camera inside. Ryan begins using the camera, filming daily activities as he works from home as a game developer. With the camera, he notices weird images caught while he films. On the tapes, they find footage of the young sisters Katie and Kristi from 20 years prior, being taught supernatural abilities. Soon, weird things begin happening around the house and Leila starts acting strange as well. The further the brothers delve into the tapes, the more they realize what is happening isn’t just coincidence. Will they be able to find out what’s going on and save their family from a potential supernatural threat, or will the evil that lurks finally get what is has always searched for?

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is very good at answering all the questions we may have had from previous films. How were Katie and Kristi chosen? How did they get the abilities that they had? Who is Toby? What is their connection throughout all the films going forward into this one? Everything is answered for us, albeit much of the time it feels like an answer is just thrown in our face just to shut us up. Not that the answer is explained in much detail, but rather it’s a new puzzle piece that has been solved, so we should just be happy. Not to say we aren’t because, as an audience, we hate when things aren’t explained and we have to forever guess as to what happens (i.e. The Sopranos ending and the end of Inception). Here, we just hoped for a more intellectual answer and not something so basic. There are other little plot snafus like a huge hole in the wall that leads to some building, but shouldn’t lead to anywhere like that just based on physics and general construction. Apparently, we just need to throw out logic more than usual for this type of movie this time around.


In terms of the supernatural aspects, there are completely eerie moments, much like in each of the other films. The problem here, however, is that we’re able to actually see Toby/The Demon this time around. Initially we’re only able to see him through a special camera, but as he grows stronger, we are able to make out his form with the naked eye as it progresses into more of a human type figure. The whole aspect from the first two films of not being able to see this entity, which made everything so much more frightening, is taken away this time around. Not that scenes are less scary, it’s just we can now visualize the entity and know something is going to happen. The thrill of it comes with the fact of not knowing when. And that, in its own right, tends to build up its own type of suspense. As with all Paranormal Activity films, there is a big chase/action sequence at the end, but this time we know what is going on, the puzzle has been solved, and we also know the ending can’t be good for anyone involved. More of the previous film plot points come together during the conclusion and we’re left with a feeling that the world is going to be getting a whole lot worse thanks to the events that have transpired.

It’s hard to talk about the acting in these types of films because we are there to watch the paranormal shenanigans. Ivy George is solid in the role of young Leila, and absolutely sells a couple moments where we’re not sure if she’s talking or some devil is talking through her. Her delivery of the lines and the control she has over her body in the scenes is wonderful to watch. Dan Gill plays a version of a big kid older adult brother who doesn’t really have a clue what’s going on in his life at this point. He’s more or less a one note character. Chris J. Murray is the caring father who wants to make sure his family is safe, as each film has one of those characters, while Brit Shaw’s character has much less to do in this film as other spouses have in previous films.


Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension isn’t nearly on the level that the first two films were, but, to be fair, neither have any of the other sequels. Thankfully it puts all the pieces together so we finally understand what everything was, how everything came to be and what the end game is, although it tends to stumble here and there. There are moments where you’re going to jump, despite knowing something is coming, and there are other times where you’ll think to yourself, “Huh??” when something just doesn’t make sense. If I had to rank this film, compared to the other five, it would probably be third on the list, behind Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2. The film isn’t great but at least it’s better than the other half of the series. It’s also a reminder not to sleep with your legs out of the covers at night!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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