Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension
Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary...
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Wednesday 21 October 2015, 6:45pm
Running time: 88m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Supernatural themes, violence and coarse language)
Release date: 22/10/15
Rating: 5/10 (ME 2/5, DP 3/5)
Ryan (Chris J Murray) and Emily (Brit Shaw) are preparing for Christmas with their young daughter Leila (Ivy George). When Ryan's brother Mike (Dan Gill). fresh from a break-up, comes to stay with them for a couple of weeks, the pair discover an unusual video camera and a box of old VHS tapes. The tapes reveal what happened to sisters Katie and Kristi following the death of their mother, and the camera reveals a mysterious presence in the house. Young Leila's behaviour begins to dramatically change as the things that go bump in the night get louder and louder.
Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension is the 6th (and apparently final) film in the popular found-footage franchise. Over the previous 5 films we've been drip-fed pieces of a much larger story, and this film brings together many of those threads. It also raises new questions and ignores many previous ones. The biggest difference between Ghost Dimension and the previous films is in its visual style; we finally see the demon... and see it.... and see it... and then see it again. Where suspense had previously been created by the clever use of sound and silence, character responses and simple visual effects, Ghost Dimension attempts to delivers chills through very polished CGI and grand special effects, not all of them successful. The 3D is unnecessary and seems to contradict the simplicity of the found-footage genre. The use of hand-held cameras and the limited field of view to create an intimacy to the terror has become the signature style of the series, but the presence of the 'spirit camera' detracts from the simple charm of its predecessors by showing us far too much.
Without revealing any plot twists (apart from the ones that have been spoilt thanks to the trailer) Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension provides an enjoyable film experience but an unsatisfying conclusion to the series. Fans of the series who are hoping for a neat epilogue to explain everything will be disappointed. While it thoroughly explores the 'what', it skips over the 'how' and 'why' and leaves many doors open to explore. This incompleteness isn't a bad thing (and the questions raised are part of the appeal) but a more thorough resolution to the series would've been appreciated. (ME)