Saturday, October 1, 2016

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review

Since the very beginning of the Paranormal Activity franchise, I have been wondering if the desire to connect these films and continuously build upon the story of the same characters was an unfortunate letdown for what could have been a really compelling and fun series. It's not as if I am against shared universes or long running series involving the same faces, but Paranormal Activity seems like it really could have thrived being different stories involving different people each time, like so many different television shows have approached storytelling lately. Following the same sisters and learning more about them and the origin of what haunts them really killed a portion of what could have made these films scary for me, because instead of being an anyone could go through this, this could happen anywhere, wrong place wrong time type of terror, it instead became a sucks to be these people, good thing I'm not them sort of vibe. That vibe doesn't quite cut it.

A slightly improved film over the previous installment The Marked Ones, although I am not sure if it is really all that much better or if I just found it refreshing to get some of the creepy atmosphere of the original films back that was missing from the one entry that tried to deviate from the franchise's established norm. The terror taking place inside a single home felt right, and I fully admit to smiling when the words "Night #1" with the date beneath it came across the screen. The problem is, that terror I mentioned isn't nearly terrorizing enough and a vast majority of the scares are obvious and completely expected. The visual effects are a total failure for me, with actual formations of a sort of black mass seen repeatedly throughout the film rather than the victims never seeing what's coming, which is far more effective.

The Paranormal Activity films are simultaneously entertaining and disappointing, starting with three movies that are all good enough yet fall short of being great, moving on to a terrible fourth, an admirable yet really poor fifth effort that wanted to take a stale series in a new direction, and then a final chance to try to regain the form that made these movies massive box office success stories. Unfortunately The Ghost Dimension is a totally forgettable conclusion.


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