When Ryan and Emily find a house that’s too good to be true, it seems like they really got the deal of a life time… until Ryan and his brother, Mike, stumble upon some old VHS tapes and an impressive camera. Soon after viewing the tapes and fooling with the video equipment, Ryan and Emily’s daughter, Leila, begins talking to an imaginary friend named “Tobe.” Soon, it becomes obvious that Tobe is no friend and something very strange is going on.
I’m pretty sure I said it when I reviewed Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones last year: I would not be duped again and that this franchise was running out of steam, if not dead already. Well, son-of-a-bitch! The marketing got me again, promising to answer all of the questions. So, like a dummy, I said, “Well, it is the sixth installment, but maybe, just maybe, something will change.” To be completely honest, at least they tried to change the formula and up the ante a little bit by throwing in the 3-D concept. I would have probably enjoyed this on a giant screen with some 3-D glasses, but when you take it home, you don’t get that experience at all. You get very bad CGI, on top of very bad exposition and constant explanations of things happening right in front of you.
One thing that drives me insane with these films is the absolute dumbing down of the content. The audience does not need to be reminded, every two seconds, that the husband suspects that the camera can detect “paranormal activity.” I feel like without any of this dialog, the film would almost be silent.
The first film succeeded with the assumption that less is more and it was easier to scare an audience with their own imaginations. Each sequel feels the need to show us much more, and what we are left with is an empty vessel of a film, one that relies solely on cheap jump scares and apparently now, a poorly rendered tar-like apparition.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension also claims to answer any questions we as the fans might have had, but instead gives you a million more with its nonsensical covens and portals. It’s become painfully obvious that this is the new franchise format — to churn out one film a year just to get a quick cash grab, sacrificing any remnants of an original story. Paranormal Activity could have bowed out respectfully as a stand alone film or even a trilogy, but the more they try to get out of “Tobe,” the less we want.
I personally feel like this train has derailed and we have no reason to trust them in another outing. I give this film another .5 out of 5 extra picture tubes.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is available now on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Digital HD, and On Demand from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Grab yourself a copy and let me know if you agree or disagree with my points and arguments.