The Paranormal Activity franchise has become one of my favorite horror franchises over the years. I honestly feel like the first 3 films are the perfect examples of how to make found footage horror flicks. However, the last two movies were pretty bad with confusing stories and jump-scares galore. How does the 6th installment of the franchise hold up? This is Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
Father and husband, Ryan, finds a weird camera and a box of tapes in his new house. He soon finds out that the camera can see things that aren’t visible to the naked eye. He also sees that the tapes revolve around 2 little girls who seem to have been raised by a cult. Now his daughter is acting weird and strange things are happening around the house. Seems our old friend Toby the Demon has found a new playmate…
Let me start off with this: If you haven’t watched the PA series so far, don’t start with this one. For one thing, you’ll be confused by all the information coming at you in a short period of time. For another, it’s simply not a good example of how good this series can be. What we have here is just another PA movie with shadows and dropped objects and jump scares. The twist is, now you can SEE the ghosts and demons. When I first heard this in the previews, I thought “Why would we need to? Wouldn’t making the demon visible make it less scary?” And I can tell you, yeah, this movie isn’t really scary.
Bottom line, the ghost images are pretty terrible in an age where visual effects are always getting better. There’s no getting around it, the demon always looked fake. Every second that I saw it reminded me that it was made on a computer. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the character’s design. I thought the big walking shadow and its various forms were actually pretty cool looking. But they never felt believable. I was never SCARED of them, I just kinda thought they were neat. Also, seriously, being able to see the thing that’s making all the activity happen just makes it waaaaaaaaaaaaaay less scary. But what are scares without audience insert characters? And we’ve got a real split crowd here.
The two main parents are likable and believable. They were nice and well written characters. The mother, if I were to nitpick, got really hammy at times. But you could also chalk that up to nerves and worry. One priest character was pretty well done, too, even if he was kind of underused. A guy named Uncle Mike was TERRIBLE. He was obnoxious through and through and I never once liked him. The movie would have benefited from not having him in it. The little girl… She was trying so hard, but she sucked so bad. Whoever was her acting coach needs to be fired. I could almost see the person just off screen hold up the cue cards for her.
The plot for this was fairly easy to follow. It was at least LEAGUES above 4 and the Marked Ones in terms of both coherency and creativity. However, other than the gimmick, there’s nothing all that interesting in this movie. The original trilogy is still great, but the last three movies have been less than stellar. This one is still better than the last two, but that’s not saying much. If you’re not already a PA fan, don’t bother with this. But if you’re a fan of this series, I think you’re in for a fun time. Just be weary of bad effects and your mileage may vary on whether or not you think the demon looks cool.