Director: Gregory Plotkin
Cast: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Using a special camera that can see spirits, a family must protect their daughter from an evil entity with a sinister plan.
The latest and intended final chapter in the widely popular recent horror franchise, ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ follows a new family who unbeknownst to them has just moved into the childhood home of Katie and Kristi. While unpacking they discover an old box containing VHS tapes and a large and unrecognizable video camera which the father soon discovers seems to have unique abilities, such as being able to pick up strange occurrences not visible with the naked eye. When their daughter begins talking to a strange entity that only the ancient camera seems able to capture, the old video cassettes begin to piece together the disturbing possibility that their moving into the home was no mere coincidence. Now they must figure out what they are dealing with and attempt to eradicate it before something terrible happens to their daughter.
‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ serves as a solid wrap to the popular franchise and while it may not cover every element introduced throughout the series, it supplies numerous answers to an adequate number of the questions viewers have been wondering about for years. It also provides a more than sufficient collection of jump scares and terrifying moments, sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seat for at least a large chunk of the runtime. Some folks may be disappointed by the lack of an appearance by the adult Katie, although fortunately the story doesn’t notably lack as a result of her absence. While it may not uncover and decipher the entirety of questions many fans may have or serve as an overly remarkable final installment, let alone come to close to the best film in the series, ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ is certainly a significant improvement over ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ and delivers for the most part, mostly succeeding in wrapping up the story in a satisfactory manner.
One factor I want to address is the constant debate and critiquing regarding the use of 3D this time around, as well as the comments I have continually seen floating around mentioning the supposed lack of 3D altogether. While I was admittedly just as hesitant as most regarding the use of 3D for a found footage film, the clever method in which it was implemented has certainly altered my opinion on the matter, and also serves as the explanation to why some folks repeatedly mention the apparent lack of 3D effect present. As opposed to illogically shooting a found footage film utilizing numerous placed cameras (as we know is always the case with the franchise), ‘The Ghost Dimension’ is only actually presented in 3D when seen from the view of the old camera which is able to capture the activity, everything from the point of view of the other cameras is presented in 2D, which I found to be a surprisingly brilliant move. Hopefully that should provide some clarification for folks on the continued debate and comments I’ve seen regarding the matter.
While, the Blu-ray 3D disc only includes the Theatrical Version of the film, fans can rest assured that the 2D disc also included in the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes the two new cuts of the film, as well as the Theatrical Version in 2D so they won’t be sacrificing the Unrated Extended Versions by choosing to purchase the release in 3D. The Unrated (or Extended) Version of the film runs approximately 97 minutes in length compared with the Theatrical Version’s 87 minute runtime, therefore providing around ten minutes of additional footage reintegrated into the film, at least a chunk of which includes some wonderfully creepy and indelible moments that fans of the franchise are certain to appreciate. The third version of the film included on the release is the Unrated with Alternate Ending Version which seems to be identical to the standard Unrated version with one key difference, the inclusion of a drastically different ending which provides less closure, likely shot as a safety measure in the chance they had opted last minute not to wrap the series with ‘The Ghost Dimension’ serving as the final chapter.
Overall, ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ largely succeeds at wrapping up the story and while it isn’t nearly as impressive as the first or third installments, it’s a notable improvement over the largely disappointing ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ and provides some real closure, answering a number of questions fans have surely been anticipating for some time, not to mention delivering plenty of the creepy and jump-worthy moments most fans expect and love. Fans of the franchise will definitely want to make sure to check out ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ if you haven’t yet had the chance, the majority of which should likely be quite pleased.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation of the Theatrical Version utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks great as a whole, delivering a clean, sharp and detailed presentation with no notable faults to be found within. Displaying the 2D sequences without issue and switching effortlessly to the 3D shots which provide some impressive depth in hallways and other smaller areas, along with a number of notable pop-out effects, both of which only accentuate the scares. This is a solid 3D high definition video presentation that should easily please.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included with the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation of all three included cuts of the film (Theatrical, Unrated and Unrated with Alternate Ending) each also utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The 2D presentation on each version looks equally fantastic, delivering a consistently detailed and clean video presentation that holds up beautifully even during the fast moving and numerous darkly lit sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an impressive high definition video presentation complimented by a more than adequate bitrate that shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release (Both the 3D & 2D disc including every version included on the 2D disc) features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers in every way required of it, capturing the eerie silence in one moment and jumping into aggressive, room shaking bass the next with ease, always keeping dialogue clear and audible and never conflicting with any other auditory elements which may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes even more creepy fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ doesn’t include a great deal in the way of supplemental material, although it does include some deleted footage from the film. Included on the 3D Blu-ray disc is one ‘Deleted Scene’ presented in 3D (running approximately 3 minutes in length). Included on the 2D disc are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ or ‘Lost Footage’ from the film (approximately 20 minutes altogether).