Never straying too far from the simple plot of family lives in house, family hears noises in said house, things start moving in said house, family begins to regret moving into said house – this installment will feel like more of the same. This time, the family is pretty much the usual set of characters you would expect from the franchise. You have the suspicious Father with way too many cameras, the skeptical wife, the comic relief brother whose answer to everything seems to be “it was the wind” (Seriously, there’s a limit to what wind can actually do!) and the series staple – a creepy little girl.
It isn’t all a carbon copy of the previous films however, this one tries something new. It tries to explain what’s going on – kind of.
Promised by the creators to answer some of the questions left unanswered in the previous films, The Ghost Dimension does just that, giving us a bit more insight into Toby, the crazy Witch coven seen at the end of the third film and also how one character seemingly traveled back in time (Who would have thought, watching the first Paranormal Activity, that this is where it would lead?) Although once again it does leave us with another cliffhanger to be resolved (Paranormal Activity 7, anyone?).
The actors all play their parts well, even if the dialogue could have been cut and pasted from any of the other films scripts, with all of them coming off as somewhat likeable, if not forgettable.
The only thing this film didn’t take from its predecessors was the element of subtlety. Whereas previous films would often show you a glimpse or maybe even nothing at all, this film relies too heavily on CGI to portray the demonic antagonist and that coupled with the 3D shoehorned in, leads the film to often come off as looking like The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
Overall, besides answering a few questions nobody seemed to be asking, this film ultimately added very little to the franchise. The only positive is that the ending, while still ending with a tease, gives the impression that the franchise is drawing to a close -something which could have been done several films sooner.