Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension is another example of Hollywoods ability to take a series with minor heart and remanufacture it into oblivion until no one gives a shit.
The plot? There is none. I mean, in a sense it’s your typical ‘child is processed or generally coerced by demons’ tale. But I could give less of a shit about the little girl in the film. Or her parents. Or anyone. There’s no fear of losing the little girl over to the dark side. Not like the original Exorcist or Poltergeist—I didn’t expect it, I’m only providing an example that it can be done to those raised in modern silver screen horror. And I’m not blaming the 4 year old for being a bad actor, either.
But I would have been more invested in the story if I had someone to care about. The more I know, the more I care: That rule is an oldie but a goody. But the filmmakers here don’t want you to care. They want your money. Which is fine. Just keep in mind you’re paying 13 some odd dollars for the screen to jump out at you.
Trust me, I understand the fun of a cheap thrill. And I also know full well that this gimmick is nothing new. William Castle used to put skeletons on strings and have them fly out at the audience in the late 50’s, effectively turning the theatre into a spookhouse. But if you’re going for the cheap thrill. Go to an actual spookhouse. It may cost more, but it’s a hell of a lot more interactive.
I mean, if we’re getting technical, the film isn’t even 3-D. It just has 3-D effects added in post. And because it’s a found footage series, they decided to skirt past this logic jump of the effects by giving the characters a camera that help them to see into another dimension. The camera itself has blue neon nodes and looks like something straight out of Rick and Morty—why exactly does a Satanist cult have this next level shit? Did Satan slowly give them the blueprints, one letter at a time, over a Ouija board?
I wish it was an episode of Rick and Morty, they would have handled the concept of an interdimensional camera so well. Don’t get me wrong, the intent of this review is not to shit on this film completely, or even big budget horror. Some Tales from the Crypt still make it to the silver screen. But realistically speaking, most good horror is independently produced stuff that gets lost in the shuffle. But don’t worry, there’s…
If you want a good horror, go see The Collector, All the Boys love Mandy Lane or House of the Devil. Track them down at an expo or download them. They’re not perfect films by any means, but if you see past the indy faults, you might even get a little scared. And if getting scared isn’t really what your into. If you want a silly plot and gore a-la Evil Dead 2 or Braindead (Dead-Alive in the US), then check out Tucker and Dale versus Evil.
Truthfully, I’m behind on my horror, but this is good start. And if you end up liking any of the titles I’ve listed, go ask the almighty Google for titles like these. It takes some elbow grease to find a true horror film these days and not a spookfest. But, I prefer spiralling into the deepest darkest depths of a creators imagination over BOO!
Did I get you?