Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review
Found-footage anthology Paranormal Activity holds a weirdly significant place in my cinematic history: Paranormal Activity 3 was the first horror film I ever watched in a cinema, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was one of the first movies I ever reviewed. ‘Review’ might be a slightly generous term, given that I just got very angry and self-important about a film which – rubbish though it may be – didn’t really need so much of a kicking.
I should have saved the energy, hatred, and word count poured into said kicking for this film, because it will be a long time before a more dull, predictable and plain lazy piece of trash will grace your local multiplex again.
The sixth entry in the series, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension unintentionally sets out to rid itself of any possible audience in a myriad of ways: it’s only available in 3D, so there goes at least half the audience right there. Those who stick around will be irritated to learn that the stereoscopy is present for less than ten percent of the film, and anyone still in their seats by this point will be bored out of their minds by a film that they’ve seen five times already.
I suppose I should attempt some form of plot synopsis for those in the dark. Those who’ve seen any of the previous entries in the series can sing along. All together now: there’s a rich couple. Bumps in the night get louder. Child seems affected. Attempt to leave is thwarted. They call a priest. There’s some shouting. Camera falls over. Audience fall asleep. Cash register chimes.
Oh, sure, there’s a minute attempt at variation in the proceedings: the two male characters (so generic I forgot their names the instant I left the screening) discover tapes from 1988 and see the repercussions of the present affecting the past, whilst the spooky stuff itself is now brought to life through a special camera (‘special’ being shorthand for fuzzy, unfocused and an excuse for 3D). All of this loses any charm it may have initially posed when you realise you’ve paid £9 to see two idiots rewind Paranormal Activity 3 whilst the seven (yes, SEVEN) screenwriters and creator Oren Peli high-five each other in baths of money.
Our central couple and their annoying friends are the usual off-the-peg horror cliché dimwits in distress, with only two sensible decisions made during the entire movie: one is the franchise itself deciding that parts 4 and 5 never existed, and the second was the only other occupant of the cinema leaving halfway through.
Some resolution is eventually attained (at least narratively), and now that the franchise trump cards of sequel, prequel, time-travel, spin-off and 3D are spent, surely we have reached the end of this wretched series? No doubt I’ll be eating these very words in 2016 for Paranormal Activity – Episode VII: The Haunt Awakens.