Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

The idea of “saving the best for last” fails exceptionally once again.

Movie Review #1,025

paranormal_activity_the_ghost_dimension

Paramount Pictures
Horror
1 hour, 28 minutes
Rated R (language and some horror violence)
Released October 23, 2015
Directed by Gregory Plotkin
Screenplay by Jason Pagan & Andrew Deutschman and Adam Robitel & Gavin Heffernan
Story by Brantley Aufill and Jason Pagan & Andrew Deutschman
Based on the film “Paranormal Activity” by Oren Peli
Starring Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Aiden Lovekamp, and Cara Pifko

“The Ghost Dimension” sounds like the kind of subtitle you’d give a fan made movie. Then again, a fan would know instantly that it’s a bad title, because the “Paranormal Activity” franchise has never been about ghosts. It’s been specified many, many times throughout the series that there is a difference between demons and ghosts, and that the characters are dealing with demons, not ghosts. I guess “The Demon Dimension” just doesn’t sound cool enough. To me, it sounds sort of like a psychedelic biker B-movie from the 1960s, but let’s be honest, is something about the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club truly any less sophisticated than the sixth and final entry in the “Paranormal Activity” series?

There’s another reason that this isn’t a fan made movie, though. A fan made movie would actually have some clever and imaginative ties to the first film, and perhaps some of the others before it. That’s why we know Jason Blum is not a fan, and if he is, it’s because he’s the producer. There are three links between “The Ghost Dimension” and its predecessors: it takes place in the same house where Katie and Kristi (the two sisters whom the previous films follow from childhood to adulthood), it features a demon called Toby who was Kristi’s imaginary friend in the third entry, and it involves filming supernatural occurrences on a camcorder. Producer Jason Blum claimed that this film would answer questions posed throughout the series and essentially bring it full circle. But oh what a gullible person I am. I actually believed him. It’s a major lie. Just about any “Paranormal Activity” film will answer all the questions that were posed throughout the series. That’s including the first film, which, naturally, posed all the major questions and passed the buck to its sequels to answer them. That’s also including the 2014 entry, “The Marked Ones”, which was a spinoff and was hardly related to the series at all.  “The Ghost Dimension” is basically the “Halloween III” of its series, except that “Halloween III” actually was a decent B-movie, despite being utterly irrelevant to the two prior films.

It’s amazing how easily you can destroy art with just four writers. Not that you’ve even heard of them, but Jason Harry Pagan, Andrew Deutschman, Adam Robitel, and Gavin Heffernan have screwed this one up big time. They’ve set this movie around Christmas time to make us feel like we’re legitimately watching a family’s “home movies.” But don’t expect Hollywood to treat this like an independent movie that you can appreciate because you feel like you’re there with the characters.  Expect a fascist glorification of 3-D moviemaking, where all authenticity quickly finds itself with the same fate as Father Merrin at the end of “The Exorcist”.  You might even want to throw yourself out a window over the fact that not only does the movie show the spirits that haunt the house, it brags about this on the poster.

We’re not the only ones who suffer by watching this movie.  The movie cost $30 million to make, which is more than 1.5 times the budgets of the previous five films combined. It still hasn’t made that money back worldwide, and in North America alone, it has yet to make ⅓ of its budget back. Remember when the first movie was a huge sleeper hit, and made over $100 million in North America alone? Yeah, it’s a good thing the series is ending here, because it ain’t making that kind of money again any time soon.

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