Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)

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The good news is that “The Ghost Dimension,” the alleged final entry in the “Paranormal Activity” series answers most of the questions fans have had since the first film. The bad new is that “The Ghost Dimension” doesn’t answer all our questions. It actually glosses over the finer details in exchange for a broader explanation that conveniently misses out on telling us what a lot of the details meant. Like, what relevance did anything that happen in “The Marked Ones” have to the overall arc? Why didn’t Katie and Micah find out they were living next to a coven of witches? And why did Hunter suddenly go missing and get adopted by an unwitting family? Also, how did Katie find Hunter?

“The Ghost Dimension” is set twenty years after the events featuring young Katie and Chrissy. A new family has moved in to their old home that mysteriously burned down, and they’re completely oblivious to what occurred before they entered its domicile. This time around we meet the Fleeges, a unit of two well meaning parents and their cherubic young daughter Leila. After some weird discoveries of VHS tapes chronicling odd goings on with Katie and Chrissy, dad Ryan discovers an ancient camcorder that has the ability to see spirits and ghostly activity as plain as day. As Ryan and his brother slowly uncover what’s happening on the tapes, Leila begins to transform in to a completely different persona, befriending the mysterious entity Toby, and engaging in unusual activity like reciting “Bloody Mary,” and writing symbols on her wall.

As Dad Ryan begins to learn of the mysterious goings on, he learns it might be too late to save Leila’s soul, as their coincidental meeting with Toby might not be so accidental as he figured. For all its faults, “The Ghost Dimension” succeeds in being a solid horror film with some impressive visuals. Director George Plotkin manages to build up the suspense and tension very well, building on Leila’s fading sanity and purity as Toby begins to enter in to a portion of her mind that her parents are incapable of reaching. Unlike previous films, “The Ghost Dimension” also includes a hero of the piece that attempts to save Leila from Toby, but as the hours pass, the screws turn on our characters and their efforts to save Leila.

“The Ghost Dimension” works as a separate installment, enlisting some neat twists, and creepy moments of exposition that I found quite engrossing. I entered in to “The Ghost Dimension” with absolutely no expectations and left somewhat entertained. While it does enter in to the larger questions about witches, Katie and Chrissy’s fate, and what Toby is, there are also a lot of questions never quite resolved. Like what the ultimate goal for Toby is, if he’s a demon, ghost, or Satan himself, what the witches’ purposes are, why Katie and Chrissy were so crucial to the grand scheme, what happened to all the survivors of the previous films, and where did the ghost detecting camcorder originate from?

If Katie’s stepdad owned it, why did he never mention it? If the villains owned it, why would they need it and not destroy it? Why would an evil underground syndicate tape record everything they do? There are just so much of the finer details that the film never tackles, that “Ghost Dimension” feels like parts four and “The Marked Ones”: Just one big missed opportunity. I’d suggest “The Ghost Dimension” strictly for completists that want to leave this series feeling somewhat justified after all the time they’ve invested. It’s still a creepy and interesting horror movie when you get right down to it, but as a finisher to the “Paranormal Activity” series, it leaves so much to be desired.