Paranormal activity that’s too black to be scary enough

Paranormal Activity:

The Ghost Dimension

Genre: Horror

Director: Gregory Plotkin

Cast: Chris J Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Dan Gill, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Don McManus, Michael Krawic, Hallie Foote

Being screened at QFX Cinemas


Paranormal Activity, dealing with spirits and demons, is without any unpleasant bloody mess.

The film begins with a promising scene where a man is lying on the floor while his spine gets crushed backward forming a bow. A lady with two young girls leave the room and there is a black out. In the next scene, Ryan (Chris J Murray), his wife Emily (Brit Shaw), and Leila (Ivy George) are shown decorating their new house for Christmas in the year 2013.

Ryan’s brother Mike (Dan Gill) too joins them for Christmas. While the brothers are decorating the house, Mike finds a bunch of VCR tapes and a VCR camera. The tapes are from 1988-1992 where two girls, a woman and man are seen doing various activities in the video. While watching the video, the brothers notice that the characters in the TV are talking about them and their house. They sense that a mysterious being is stalking them, especially Leila. Also, Ryan finds out that through the VCR camera he can see things that are not seen by naked eyes.

Emily’s best friend Skyler (Olivia Taylor Dudley) notices Leila talking to an imaginary friend named Toby. This becomes the concern for the parents as Leila often wakes up in the middle of the night and turns on the gas in the living room fireplace. She plays Bloody Mary alone at night, and her bubbly childish behaviour disappears.

However, the movie is a disappointment as there is no clear objective why the demon has chosen Ryan’s family. And there are so many blackouts in the 88-minute-long movie that it distracts your concentration. You cannot get to connect with the emotion of the characters as there are more blackouts and dark scenes than the characters doing anything.

The 3D effect barely works in a few scenes — once when Emily is looking at the VCR camera, the earthquake movement while the demon awakens and the chase in the tunnel to the store room. The background sound, oily black and white jelly like material moving around, the use of neon green in the darkness, black eyes and the tunnel give that spooky feeling but you don’t actually get scared by these gimmicks.