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The Paranormal Activity franchise is certainly a strange one, and it's also very divided. Some love them, some hate them. Evidently, we all watch them, as they keep on making more of them. Personally, I thought the first three films were decent, the third one especially. They were creepy, tension filled and managed to get under my skin, although not quite as much the second time around (because yes, I've seen them multiple times). The second is more of a mixed bag, but as a whole it gets a pass. Then the fourth one happened, and who really knows what went on in that movie? The same goes for the Marked Ones. Going into the Ghost Dimension, the presumably final entry in this over-stretched franchise, there were plenty of questions still left burning, and answers had been promised. Well, I still haven't had jack shit explained, so there's that.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension takes place in December, 2013. A family have been living in a new house for a few months now and they're fitting in quite nicely. That's until Ryan (Chris J. Murray) discovers a set of tapes in his back yard, as well as a camera unlike any camera he's ever seen before. The tapes are from 1988, showing a young Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) and Katie (Chloe Csengery) growing up under the guidance of a witch cult, where they are constantly in contact with a spirit named Toby. Soon, strange things begin to happen in his own home, except this time around, his new and rather mysterious camera is capable of filming this malevolent spirit, so yay for him?
The film opens in 1988, reminding us of the events of the third film's finale. Except, this time the film doesn't end with the snapping of that dude's back. No, this time the scene continues. We see Katie and Kristi taken upstairs, they get a talking to, the whole found footage aspect breaks its own rules and that's that. It's dumb and pointless, but the filmmakers were clearly desperate and in need of a shocking opening. So, using their oh-so-creative minds, the scariest thing they could come up with was showing the end of the third movie again before giving an explanation of what actually went down. Why? Who knows. Does it further the plot? Not at all. Does it provide an explanation of anything? Nope.
We're then taken forward to 2013, and it's here we're introduced to the actual plot. It's the same characters from every other Paranormal Activity movie, except they have new faces and new names. There's nothing special about any of them and they all have the same "arc" as their counterparts did in the previous instalments. One's reluctant. One believes. One tags along for the ride. One see's ghost, and it's always a child that fills this role. We then get an hour and a half of predictable and pointless jump scares with dumb characters making dumb mistakes. A violent demon that tried to burn your house down and has possessed your child is standing on the other side of the table? Better duck down and hide. I'm sure it didn't just FUCKING STARE RIGHT AT YOU. Hey, at least they stayed quiet, right? WRONG.
It's scenes like this that really brought down not just the intelligence of everyone on screen, but everyone in the theatre, as well. And believe it or not, that's not the dumbest thing in this movie. Your child just vomited up black blood all over the curtains? She's probably fine. Better let her get some rest. Your wife isn't believing you when you tell her there's a ghost in your house? Showing her the footage probably won't help convince her. Your child just drew demonic symbols all over the wall? I'm sure that's normal. No need to clean it. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension literally lowered my IQ. I don't think I'm currently capable of completing a fourth grade maths test.
While some of the previous instalments managed to create some solid tension, The Ghost Dimension does not. It's pointless, dull and slow, and showing the ghost seems like a good idea on paper, but on screen it just looks so awkward. Remember in Paranormal Activity 3 when the young girls were talking to thin air? In this movie, a similar thing happens, except they're talking to venom from fucking Spider-Man. It's so painfully dumb and the design of the ghost is just ugly. It really is. It oozes from one place to another, popping out towards the screen at the most random of times. The plot never goes anywhere. It's just jump scare to jump scare to jump scare, the 3D adding absolutely nothing, and even all the jump scares are the exact same thing over and over.
I checked my watch three times in this movie, something I rarely do. The first time I checked it, and the only one worth mentioning, was when I thought we were nearing the halfway point of this 88 minute movie. And where were we at? We were fifteen minutes in. There was still over an hour to go in this piece of shit film. At that point in the film, I already wanted to die. It was a struggle making it to the final act, but I got there eventually, and it was just as nonsensical and dumb as all the previous endings. Well, maybe with the exception of the first film. That ending was actually okay. This one, however, was far from it. It doesn't tie anything together, several plot points from the franchise still left hanging. It raises more questions than it answers, but at this point in time, I wouldn't really care if they never make another one of these stupid films again, and I honestly hope they don't.
To sum up, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is a big, dumb, repetitive and pointless clusterfuck of a movie. It's an 88 minute string of jump scares, all of which involve a ghost jumping towards or away from the camera. I'm pretty sure The Martian is still playing in theatres. Go see that instead.