A ghost story with the same script and added effects

The first thing that came to many viewers minds’ when they first came across the trailer for “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” was probably “Oh no, not another one!” However if you’re a faithful viewer of the series (or just wanted to be scared in honor of Halloween) you probably went to see it and might have been pleasantly surprised.

This newest installment picks up where “Paranormal Activity 4” left off. The film follows the main plot of the series, focusing on a new family, but intertwining the original sisters, Kristi and Katie, into the unraveling mythology of the franchise.

The premise itself is a little stale at this point. Going into the film having already watched the previous five, you know that you are going to meet a happy family in a nice house with one member of the household interested in filming home movies.

After some small, out of the ordinary thing happens on camera, the person filming the movies becomes obsessed with filming the occurrences. Long story short, the occurrences get weirder and more powerful until everything comes to a head and someone either dies or becomes possessed. However even with knowledge of the basic plot, the film always manages to scare and surprise. The franchise does a good job at changing the plot just a little bit to make the series move forward while still using the basic structure that fans of the series have grown to love and expect. While the plot is a bit stale, it just wouldn’t be a Paranormal Activity film if it didn’t follow that script.

While basic structures can be the same, the game has to change in some way to keep viewers interested. True to the name of the film, you will get a glimpse of the Ghost Dimension that was previously off limits. Both viewers and film characters can now see the ghosts. Upon learning that this played a major role in the newest film, some fans may have been worried that the essence of the unknown may be ruined by being able to see it. The viewer’s own mental image of what the entities looked like could be ruined if this element wasn’t played out perfectly.

Thankfully the execution of the ghost was nearly perfect; it kept it vague and dark while also showing a lot of needed structure to get a sense of what was actually haunting the family.

The film is a must-see for fans of the series because it ties together many elements of the previous films. However fresh or casual viewers of the series are better off skipping this movie and just watching the original. “Ghost Dimension” adds flavor to the series and wraps up many questions fans had about the plot, but it isn’t the best “Paranormal” film to hit screens in the past few years.

Film: “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension”
Directed By: Gregory Plotkin
Release Date: Oct. 23, 2015
Rating: ★★★½☆