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Film Review: Paranormal Activity The Ghost Dimension

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Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, reportedly the final entry concerning the ever-demonic Toby, and the families he haunts, kicks off with a hiss and a roar and concludes in much the same manner.

Right from the opening sequence we’re introduced to the tapes that created Katie and Kristi’s backstory issued in 2011’s prequel, Paranormal Activity 3, to fill in the gaps in the chronology. It also provide the answers we’ve long been seeking. While some may say we’ve seen the plot unveiling in previous entries, I was teetering on the edge of my seat right from the opening scene, and I remained that way throughout the entire 80 minutes of film, mesmerised by every moment unfolding before me.

Film Review: Paranormal Activity - The Ghost Dimension angie fredatovich nz

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is by far the most impressive entry in this series. It has just the right amount of humour, without crossing into the spoof-horror genre, and an authenticity that has become its trademark. The sense of urgency, anticipation and terror that made the first instalments so triumphant, has returned 10-fold (and yes, you do get answers and you do actually see the ‘paranormal activity’ we are promised).

The Ghost Dimension respects the previously set traditions, yet finds its own ideas and a way to continue on the story without ever being too repetitive. It also effortlessly furthers the ideology of a bloodline linked to the unholy force plaguing these families, while adding its own bits of independent inventiveness. Such is done in a consistently amusing manner, much in line with prior Paranormal Activity films.

Ghost Dimension is devoid of the filler that episodes in this succession of pictures were plagued with, and because of this, the movie itself is all the more magnificent. In this movie we bear witness to all that we had hoped to see in this movie’s predecessors.

The Toby saga emerges with metaphorical guns blazing, giving us the all-out endeavour that was teased at and promised in earlier efforts. It does this while simultaneously delivering more of the deliberately hidden elements of the narrative (most of it related to what happened after Paranormal Activity 3) while keeping its eye sharply focused on Toby’s newest haunt.

Film Review: Paranormal Activity - The Ghost Dimension angie fredatovich nz

The story commences around two weeks short of Christmas in 2013. While looking for Xmas decorations, Ryan (the dad) finds tapes of Katie and Kristi, which were the focus of Paranormal Activity 3, and begins watching them. Almost immediately he, along with the assistance of his brother, Mike, begins to piece together why he found these video cassettes in his home. Ryan also comes to the realisation that in the video, Katie and Kristi are describing events that are now just unfolding, yet recorded twenty-five years in the past. These coincidences link up unsettlingly to that which is transpiring for him and, most eerily, his daughter, Leila. But it’s not just tapes the two brothers find, they’re also in possession of a camera that can see ghosts. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so I’m going to leave the storyline descriptor at that.

What keeps this film moving is the lack of music, a benchmark of previous Paranormal Activity films, and deft editing. The art direction also adds to the palpable sense that we are watching something filmed during an actual haunting.

Ghost Dimension returns to the overall sense cast by the ground-breaking 2009 original, with the addition of the ever-elusive answers we’ve been seeking all along, and increase of thrills and heart-pounding-tension. This is like a return to its roots, which is perfect for the finale.

Check out the trailer here:

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