Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension Review
The Paranormal Activity films really start to blend together, and not in a healthy "progressing the story"-type of way. It becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate the films with every consecutive entry into the series, the one exception being The Marked Ones. Ghost Dimension, on the other hand, follows the trend of the other films in the series, riding the wave of the conventional model the franchise operates through.
What we get is a family in a new house, an excuse to set up cameras throughout the house, a gradual increase in paranormal events, and an eventual climax in which our protagonists meet their doom for their inability to heed the warning signs. This is the general theme of every Paranormal Activity movie and Ghost Dimension doesn't digress much at all. It does boast the most effects work of any of the films to date, but it's hard to consider that a good thing.
The greatest appeal of the first film was two-fold. #1, It managed to deliver scares in a clever way on a shoestring budget. #2, the demon's poltergeist-like behavior allowed for a sense of realism through the use of minimalistic, practical effects. As the films came out one by one, the appeal exponentially faded as more effects work was introduced to attempt to keep the uber-predictable plots superficially fresh. But unlike the Saw sequels, which could sustain morbid intrigue through the elaborate traps despite poor writing, the Paranormal Activity franchise's dependency on low budget antics became its undoing when trying to push quality sequels.
But still, the franchise managed to be successful enough to reach the Ghost Dimension installment, which wasn't the worst of the franchise, but was definitely more of the same. You will pick up on the repetitive nature of the film early on and it never lets up in this regard. You have seen this movie before, but now there's gravity-defying black goo. That's it. That's the difference.
And the overt CGI in the climax, which kills the realism that the first and second films established with their limited effects work, really pushed Ghost Dimension to feeling like a B-horror movie rather than an indie horror movie. Yes, there's a difference...most of the time.
A film that makes you jump isn't inherently scary. Such is the case here. You feel like you've seen it all before, and you pretty much have. Just dump a tub of tar in space and you'll have a good idea of what "new thing" you're getting in this installment.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 3/10
Film Quality: 2/10