HOLLYWOOD—When the first “Paranormal Activity” arrived in theaters in 2009 I was a huge fan. It was unlike anything seen in the cinematic world, especially the horror genre. The found footage element had been utilized in 1999 with the “The Blair Witch Project.” Since the debut of the first “Paranormal” flick the series has spawned a total of five sequels including the latest installment “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.”
The second installment was spookier than the first, the third a complete confused mess, the fourth made no sense, and the latest entry I’m not certain many people even remember. For those who were not fans of the third installment you might have trouble with the latest outing. The “Ghost Dimension” opens with a scene from “Paranormal Activity 3” where the audience witnesses young Katie and Kristi watch a horrific scene and are led to a dark room where the name ‘Toby’ comes into play.
The movie fast-forwards to 2013 where the Fleege family Ryan (Chris J. Murray), Emily (Brit Shaw) and their daughter Leila (Ivy George) are about to celebrate Christmas. The festivities are halted with the arrival of Ryan’s brother Mike (Dan Gill).
Like all horror flicks, the chaos begins when Leila is spotted talking to an imaginary friend. What is it with ghosts or the supernatural always wanting to prey on the innocent to wreak havoc? If you go looking for things you’ll find things you wish you hadn’t as the brothers stumble across some old VHS tapes with Katie and Kristi doing some strange things, but the spooks unearth when they discover the people on the tapes are well aware of their presence.
The movie sprinkles a bit of the classic motif of the 1982 classic “Poltergeist” into the narrative and finds adults doing silly things instead of just leaving their house. The biggest problem with the “Paranormal Activity” franchise is that there are such dull moments where nothing transpires that it’s easy to lose interest in the narrative. However, just as you dose off, a shocking event occurs grabbing your attention once again. It peaks than drops, it peaks than drops, and there is no element of consistency for a movie that is intended to deliver the scares.
One can admit the 3D element doesn’t deliver some clever spooks to the audience as it brings the idea of supernatural elements directly to the spectator’s face. Be warned those with a faint heart, might want to sit this flick out when it comes to 3D. The narrative finally gives answers to the audience that fans of the series have eagerly waited for. After six movies in, “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” has transpired to some of those horror franchises of the 80s and 90s where after the second installment, no one cares as much.