Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is the sixth and final instalment in the franchise that once played a big part in starting the found footage craze that seemed to almost take over the horror genre entirely. But thankfully this trend is dying out rapidly and we can finally put this thing to rest that should have ended after the second one back in 2010. Everyone is familiar with this series by now and you know exactly what you are going to get, so it really does leave no room for surprises when you are six films in. For the most part the film follows the exact same formula as the previous films and as a result, the scares don’t make much of an impact anymore. The jump-scares are terrible and predictable and ruin whatever tension the film tries to occasionally set up. Of course you have yet another possessed child who can see things other cant, cameras left in rooms overnight, loud noises and blah blah blah, all the same stuff you have seen before.
The horror elements in this film were not really effective. They were predictable jump-scares and an overuse of CGI that was more spooky than it was terrifying. But, there were some moments that despite being used over and over were actually quite chilling and creepy. Those moments that had no jump-scares and no sudden loud bangs actually got me enjoying the film momentarily. When it was more calm and it just had a very creepy tone like you are waiting for something to happen and some creepy imagery shows up or passes by that is what was successfully creepy. But there were very few of those moments. Small things like the moment in the trailer where the girls on the T.V say ‘bless you’ to the girl watching the T.V was very very creepy and if there was more of that i would have enjoyed the film a lot more.
Also, the tagline for this film is “For the first time you will see the activity”, which i really hate. Now i know that one of the biggest complaints from people is that in the whole film nothing happens, and you don’t actually see what is happening and everyone wants to actually see the demon not just things moving around. But the fact that you don’t actually see the ‘Paranormal Activity’ is what made the films very effective. Look at how terrifying ‘The Babadook’ was. Now i get they wanted to change things up a bit but it was totally unnecessary as it didn’t make people enjoy the film anymore. Take note people, sometimes what you think you want to see, you don’t actually want to see. And because they chose to ‘show the activity’ you have this CGI effect that shows up throughout the film that isn’t scary and takes you out of it completely. Despite what people wanted, they should have stuck with the really low budget, and minimal to no CGI. The film also loses points for the way it handled the last 15 minutes or so, because (((MINOR SPOILERS IN BRACKETS (((((( It turns into a found footage exorcism film with a CGI extravaganza and felt very odd compared to the rest of the film)))))))).
I have to give the film some credibility because i thought it did an alright job at attempting to tie up the loose ends left by the earlier films in the series regarding Katie, Kristi, and Hunter. The only problem with this is that honestly, no-one really gave a shit about what happens to them. People only watched the films for the cheap jump-scares, no-one was going in wondering ‘where is Hunter??’ or leaving asking ‘what happened to the little girls???’ It was something that when stuff was being explained in the film i was thinking that it was cool that they stuck to finishing off the loose story they had going on, but i really didn’t care and just wanted to be scared some more. But as i said, points for trying.
So is this going to change the game and spark a new interest in found footage horror films?? No. If anything this is going to hopefully cement the fact that this sub-genre is dead and it should never happen again. If you just want some cheap scares and you like the idea of jump-scares then go ahead and check it out i guess.