Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (or PA6 for simplicity’s sake) ends the found-footage horror series that was, for a time, a phenomenon that managed to capture the interest of even me. I’m going to put this simply: I don’t like horror movies. Life is frightening enough without plopping down cash to be scared further out of your mind, but for some reason that I cannot explain, the PA series grabbed me. The series is really the story of two trilogies; the first being awesome and the second being largely incoherent. The first film was made for almost nothing and became a huge hit so naturally it became a franchise. What was amazing about the next two installments is how smartly they wove together a story that tied into the first and began to build this mythology and story that spanned decades. Then the fourth installment happened.
PA4’s greatest contribution to the series was showing us that the Xbox Kinect finally has a purpose (it shows ghosts). PA5 was actually an improvement, though it had no relevance to the other films, and then PA6 was left to tie up the whole shebang in 80 minutes.
The film doesn’t manage to recapture the first three films’ thrills (I have to admit that there’s a scene in PA3 that scared me so badly I nearly punched out the person sitting next to me out of sheer survival instinct) and while bits of resolution to the story of the two girls that began way back in Paranormal Activity are given, you really have to work to puzzle them out. Out of all the families that have had to deal with this entity and it haunting their house, this is BY FAR the dumbest lot. The only real difference between this and prior films is the finding of a magic camera (no seriously) that allows the viewer to finally see the invisible magic that’s been scaring us. It’s a pretty pathetic end to something that started out as such a pleasant surprise. Now I can go back to ignoring the entire genre again.