Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Is Stupid
So readers, I’ve just returned home from seeing the sixth film in the Paranormal Activity franchise, The Ghost Dimension, and it is STAGGERINGLY BAD, but we’ll tackle that in a minute. First things first. I was a massive fan of the original Paranormal Activity. I found it original and frightening. It’s simple bare bones approach created boat loads of tension, and kept viewers wanting more. And it was all done with a $15,000 budget, and became the most profitable movie of all time (base on ROI). Then Paramount bought the franchise for $350,000 (a fucking steal), and proceeded to piss all over it.
Money < Creativity
We got Paranormal Activity 2 which in my opinion was actually pretty decent, and Paranormal Activity 3, which was also not bad. Then the whole franchise went tits up with the dull Paranormal Activity 4 and the entirely unnecessary Paranormal Activity: the Marked Ones.
Now that we’ve gotten some of the history out of the way let’s move on to the meat of The Ghost Dimension, and be warned, spoilers follow.
………………..last warning. No bitching.
Let’s Examine This Dumpster Fire
The movie starts off with the Fleeges; a happy husband and wife named Ryan and Emily, and their young daughter Leila. Ryan’s brother Mike, and yoga instructor, Skyler are around too but for no fucking reason other than to look hot.
Ryan and Mike discover an old camcorder in a box with a ton of tapes. You guessed it. The tapes depict the immediate aftermath of Paranormal Activity 3, and Katie and Kristi’s time with The Midwive (their grandmother (now mom’s) Devil worshipping cult).
Deus Ex Camera
This is no ordinary camera kids, this is a special camera that can capture things regular cameras cannot, including demons. The camera picks up the usual horror movie shit; sounds, objects moving on their own, and (in a nod to the Amityville Horror) Toby himself, who is apparently a slightly skeletal oil monster.
Once the Fleege family figure out they’re dealing with a demon, they call a priest in to help. Apparently their daughter,who is friends with Toby (just like Amityville), burying rosary beads and trying to burn bibles didn’t tip them off. As what always happens in these movies, the priest tells them exactly what to do to keep the demon from growing stronger, and they, ya know, don’t listen. They’re told they need to ignore it, and try to stay calm, because the demon feeds off fear. In response to this expert advice the Fleege family scream, and run around and TRY TO FILM THE FUCKING THING.
Good Work, Guys
I swear, if I had a demon that fed off fear I would bombard that thing with so much fun, and happy shit, it would literally kill itself or just fuck off. I’m talking keggers every day, Rick and Morty marathons, orgies… people would be having so much fun in my house that demon wouldn’t be able to handle being on the same block, but movie people are stupid. I digress.
Let’s move on to the evil coven’s big plan, which has taken 6 movies to come to fruition. They need children, who are all born on the same day, month and year (6/6/6), This is so they can …wait for it… get one drop of their blood to make a body for the demon, so he can walk the earth and do some shit involving the Princes of Hell. As you have guessed by now, you clever readers you, Leila happens to have been born on that date, and the demon needs her.
Witches Be Hella Inefficient
What I don’t get is if the wtches just need a drop of blood, why did they need to murder tons of people to get it? Just stalk the kids. Kids fall, scrape themselves, and do dumb shit all the time. You don’t need covens, demon hauntings and multiple homicide to get it. Just follow them on their two wheeler.
The shit doesn’t really hit the fan until the last 20 minutes of the film. That’s right, it takes that long for shit to go down. The Fleeges attempts an exorcism, to get the demon to fuck off. It doesn’t work, and all but mommy die in the course of about 5 minutes.
Mommy follows her daughter to what I assume is the ghost dimension, where she finds her daughter, and sees that Toby has succeeded and has a body. Toby kills her, takes Leila and destroys the camera. Roll credits, bad guys win again. It’s the feel good movie of the fall.
Lies, Lies, Lies
The biggest problem in this film is how it was advertised, They said,”You’ll finally see Toby.”They said,”all your questions will be answered.” They said, “This is the final installment.” Well I say bullshit.
The amount of threads left dangling is mind boggling, especially for a final installment.
What the fuck happened to Katie? She doesn’t appear AT ALL in this movie. She’s mentioned in passing as being the real estate agent who sold the Fleege’s their house (which was been built on top of her burned down childhood home). In the first film she was pivotal. It made it seem like her family, and her in particular, are a focal point of the demonic happenings.I assumed going into the Ghost Dimension that she would play a pivotal role in Toby’s end game. I was sorely disappointed.
What happened to Alex, our heroine from Paranormal Activity 4? Despite that being the worst of the franchise I still wanted to know what happened to Alex. Last we saw her she was running with Hunter from demonically possessed Katie. Alex jumps out a window, looks up and sees a witch horde coming toward her. She turns around and is attacked by demonic Katie before the camera goes black. Ok. We know that Toby needs to spill the blood of a virgin and she is the virgin in question, but still, show us that! Don’t assume that everybody in your audience knows that, and for those of us that do know that, show us anyway you assholes! You’re not creating art, you’re churning out product.
Who the hell was Robbie (from PA 4)? The little kid served as some kind of demonic emissary, meeting and befriending young children in order to teach them about Toby. Then he would deliver them to the demon. What’s up with that? Oh and he also serves as a surrogate son to the possessed Katie. Why him? why doesn’t he get fed to Toby?
We also never find out what happened to little Hunter, after the events of PA 4. I guess he just rides off into the demonic sunset. If you recall, Katie took Hunter at the end of PA2 when he’s a baby, yet at the beginning of PA4 had he been adopted by another family. Why did the demon put him up for adoption when it needed him and already had him? Did he need the tax break? It makes no sense, nor was it explained.
We also never see what happened to Jesse, who at the end of PA: The Marked Ones goes through a demon door which can transport people to any time that has heavy demonic activity, like a demonic Tardis. Jesse jumps through while possessed and kills his best friend on the same night Katie killed her boyfriend in the first PA. I suppose he just disappears into the demonic ether never to be heard from again.
Which brings me to my final point which is the worst offense of all. where the fuck was Ali Rey?!?!?! She’s the step daughter of Katie’s sister Kristi, and the step sister of Hunter. Her parents were murdered gruesomely by the demon the night possessed Katie took Hunter. Ali was on a school trip and returned home to find her parents slaughtered and her baby step brother gone,
The last time we ran into Ali was in PA: The Marked Ones, when Jesse’s friends find her contact info and talk to her about the demon. She has tons of information and appears to have spent years hunting it, and many, including myself was hoping that in the seven years between PA:2 and The Ghost Dimension, Ali would have come up with something. She could have been the one to come in and duke it out with Toby and get a win for the good guys, finally, but instead she isn’t seen, or even mentioned and the bad guys win, as usual.
Fuck Continuity. There’s Money To Be Made
As we mentioned earlier, The Ghost Dimension also boasted a look at Toby, the demon who has been plaguing families for six movies now. Instead what we got was a weird black oil monster, some flashes of a skeletal face as it blew past people and a cheap ghostly cgi shot only included so it could pop out of the screen for those who saw the film in 3D. Boo! (the bad kind, not the scary kind)
There were a few possibilities that could have been cool. For instance Leila had been drawing pictures of a multi eyed, horned, demonic goat creature, a standard depiction of most demons. This look could have been cool. it is classic spooky and mythologically accurate. In the first PA movie, Katie’s boyfriend Micah puts down powder outside their room and awakes to taloned footprints leading into their bedroom but not out. That was awesome, and eerie. But no. Fuck that. This version of Toby looked nothing like the three pronged talon feet seen in the first movie.
In the end, guys, if you’re a die hard fan of the franchise, just looking for kicks, and don’t give a shit go see the movie. Some people liked it. People who appreciate good horror should avoid this like the plague. They promised answers, they promised a look inside the world of Toby, but in the end they provide none of it.
If this is the finale it’s a sad day for the franchise. A finale should fire on all cylinders, empty the clip, and go down in a blaze of glory. It’s an opportunity to remind fans why they loved you to begin with. Instead, the Paranormal Activity franchise went out with a whimper, limping across the finish line. It’s bullshit. It’s simply setting us up for yet another sequel, probably one that will be released directly to Blu Ray and streaming services. In fact Ghost Dimension pissed off theaters by releasing the movie on streaming services on the same day as the theater release.
Instead of delivering answers Ghost Dimension simply sets up for another sequel, which I hope for simply so they can get it right. Come on PA people, hire me, I have absolutely zero experience with movies or writing or directing but hey, I still probably have more than that room full of stoned monkeys that made the Ghost Dimension, and you’re in luck, I’m super available, and I’ll work for scale.