Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension: Long-Running Horror Series ‘Ends’ With a Squib
Brit ShawChloe Csengery...
As the supposed last entry to the multimillion dollar haunted-house-found-footage franchise created by Oren Peli back in 2007, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is surprisingly indifferent and unsurprisingly ineffective.
The story is centred on the Fleege family; father, Ryan (Murray), mother, Emily (Shaw) and their young daughter, Leila (George), who have just moved into their spacious new home in the Californian suburbs. It's Christmas time and the family is looking forward to the holidays, inviting Ryan’s brother, Mike (Gill) and Emily’s sister, Skyler (Dudley) for an extended family visit.
While the family is putting up the holiday decorations, Ryan and Mike stumble upon an old box filled with VHS tapes – surprise, surprise – and a big custom-made video camera that can capture images that a normal video camera cannot. Naturally, the boys begin digging into their newly-found possessions and soon discover that the tapes are video recordings which have captured the lives two young sisters named Kristi and Katie. Unsurprisingly,strange things soon begin to occur around the Fleege household, prompting the setup of video surveillance cameras which will hopefully capture whatever it is that has decided to haunt them.
Projected in a debatable 3D format and written by an army of writers, it’s business as usual with the franchise’s sixth addition which, once again, implements the already standardised – and tired – version of the franchise’ paranormal template-of-scares. Nice family moves into nice house in nice suburban area and strange things begin to occur, video cameras are assembled and the residents’ lives are threatened by an invisible entity. There is nothing refreshing or innovative – if you don’t count the elaborate CGI effects and lazy 3D setup – about the series’ final chapter.
In its attempt to offer some sort of an explanation behind onscreen mythology, the writers put a ‘face’ to Toby – THE demonic entity and one of the main protagonists of the series – who, up until this point, had always remained invisible and therefore, relatively scary. Now, the audiences are given the opportunity to see what he looks like and the fear factor – which was pretty low to begin with – has been reduced into a small handful of frights.
Failing to bring the long-running film series full-circle and offer its fans a duly deserved explanation behind the last eight years of paranormal torture, a combination of cheap scare tactics and very little logic is once again on display, inducing very little fear and a whole bunch of let downs. Let’s just hope that this is the end.