Verdict: More for nostalgia than spooks.
The trailer of the sixth and what is hopefully, the final edition, of Paranormal Activity promised that we’d “see the activity” for the first time. Which is to say that you’ll actually see the forces making things move around, instead of just being shocked when things start moving of their own accord. This doesn’t work out quite the way the director would have hoped. Because fear of the unknown is much greater than that of the best ghosts CG and 3D can create.
The film begins with the Fleege family- Ryan (Chris J. Murray), Emily (Brit Shaw) and Leila (Ivy George)- moving into a new house around Christmas time. They are joined by his brother Mike (Dan Gill), fresh out of a relationship, and her sister Skyler (Olivia Taylor Dudley), equipped with New Age ideas and hot pants. They discover a bunch of old video tapes in a box in the garage, along with a positively ancient camera. The camera, miraculously enough, still works, though its footage is fairly flawed, with odd distortions coming up. As you already know from the trailer, the camera is ‘special’ and is actually picking up paranormal activity. Something, they don’t realize till they figure out that the ’80s tapes are strangely connected to their current lives, in what is possibly the only really creepy scene in the film.
Ryan and Mike are watching a tape, showing Katie and Kristi from PA 3, put in a trance by their grandmother, which enables them to look into the Fleege brothers’ room. The Fleeges realize this is happening when Ryan’s daughter, Leila, walks into the room and sneezes, and Katie on tape says, “Bless you.” The shit hits the fan then, and priests are rolled out, exorcisms conducted and portals to the past re-opened.
This film has neither the freshness of the first film, which took the ‘found footage‘ theme to new heights of spookiness, nor its tight screenplay. It is at best a tired version of a franchise that should have long ago been left to Rest In Peace. Even the unleashing of the third dimension, presumably to make the ghosts scarier, does little to make the film gripping. Despite having all the usual sound effects and CG, this film lets you down, or maybe because of it.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you are determined to watch a horror movie in theatre this Halloween (the only impactful way of watching a horror movie), Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is here to oblige. Happy Halloween!