When it comes to scary films these days, they tend to fall into one of two categories: suspenseful, where the monster (human or otherwise) remains a mystery, and blunt, in-your-face horror. Fans of the genre tend to prefer the former category, choosing tension over terror - but what if a film could walk the fine line between the two styles? This is what 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension' aims to achieve, whilst providing the answers to some questions asked posed this long-running found footage series.
It's Christmas, and the Fleege family are coming together. However, patriarch Ryan uncovers an unwelcome present: a video camera that can reveal normally undetectable disruptions around the house. There's also hours and hours of VHS tapes of bizarre happenings in a different house. As paranormal occurrences escalate and daughter Leila begins exhibiting strange behaviour, the adults of the house grow increasingly concerned - but can they do something before things go too far?
If you thought the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise was starting to feel a little tired - particularly with 'The Marked Ones' - this is something of a rejuvenation. While still far for perfect, it goes back to what made the series such a success: the scare factor. Where the film excels is its shock tactics; when the adrenalin is pumping and the sinister spirit is an enigma. This does, however, come undone towards the conclusion as the house's occupants make foolish mistakes and the ghoul becomes too tangible.
As with the other 'Paranormal Activity' films, you are watching largely unknown actors being as naturalistic as possible. However, perhaps more than other films in the series, they're asked to act along side the special effects - to mixed results. These are, by design, low-budget films, and while they may have a bigger budget than the original's estimated $15,000, there's still not much of an allowance for post-production. That being said, the majority of the time the effects do their job, and are the source of the majority of the scares.
If you thought the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise was starting to feel a little tired, this is something of a rejuvenation.
And that's really why we're here, aren't we? To watch and wait for that something to happen out of the corner of our eye, or brush past the camera. The numerous teens in our viewing of 'The Ghost Dimension' seemed sufficiently spooked - so in that regard, the film is as much of a success as it could hope to be. There are a few loose strings pulled together from previous 'Paranormal Activity' films, and you're guaranteed to experience frequent frights - just leave complexity and logic outside the cinema.