Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (3 stars)

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

The sixth film in the popular horror series delivers visual novelty alongside the same old story

Helmed by Gregory Plotkin (a regular editor on the series making his directorial debut here) and overseen by prolific horror producer Jason Blum, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is the sixth and reportedly final entry in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Promotional material for the film promises that, 'For the first time, you will see the activity,' and while it makes good on that pledge in spectacular fashion, those seeking narrative clarity or, heaven forbid, closure are likely to be disappointed.

Picking up shortly after the events of the previous instalment, the film follows the basic plot of most of the other movies to date: a family – father Ryan (Chris J Murray), mother Emily (Brit Shaw) and young daughter Leila (Ivy George) – move into a new house and start experiencing spooky goings-on, causing them to set up cameras to record these strange nocturnal occurrences. At the same time, Leila begins acting oddly after talking to an imaginary friend named Toby.

In keeping with the traditions of the franchise, there's a new visual gimmick this time round, in the form of an old-school (and hitherto unmentioned, despite being found in the house from previous films) video camera that can actually pick out the paranormal activity (Toby included), which largely takes the form of wispy clouds, like the Smoke Monster from Lost.

That gimmick gets a further boost in the 3D version of the film, because the stereoscopic effects are only employed when someone's looking through the special camera. In fact, it's fair to say that these effects are extremely impressive throughout, with Plotkin making effective use of the set-up by including some great jumpy moments where various things come flying out of the screen at you.

The actors predominantly convince and the film dutifully delivers the requisite scares, but nothing new is added to the mythology of the franchise (beyond the novel visuals), meaning those who are up to speed are likely to feel they've seen it all before.

General release from Wed 21 Oct.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 28min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Gregory Plotkin
  • Cast: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George
  • UK release: 21 October 2015

A family (Murray, Shaw, George) move into a new house and experience spooky goings-on. The visual gimmick this time round is that they have a camera that can see spirits (in 3D!) and the effects are extremely impressive, but nothing new is added to the mythology and it's all rather familiar.