Director: Gregory Plotkin
Cast: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw and Ivy George
Running Time: 88 minutes
Release Date: October 23rd
We’re promised that this sixth entry into the found-footage phenomenon will be its last, attempting to tie up all of the loose ends of the series to date, and it’s only with hindsight do we realise just how convoluted the story has actually been. Katie and Kristi have been tormented by Toby the Demon since the late 80s, with a witches coven attempting to bring their favorite evil spirit to life ever since.
We’re now in December 2013, and a new family have moved into a new house, with happy couple Ryan and Emily Fleege and their daugther Leila opening their home to Ryan’s freshly dumped brother Mike and Emily’s yoga-loving best-friend Skylar all coming together to celebrate Christmas. Its not long before the two brothers discover a weird video-camera that allows them to see things beyond the naked eye – a kind of moving image version of spirit photography, which is helped somewhat visually be the series’ first venture into the land of 3D – and we soon discover that Toby has returned and has his eye on Leila.
Director Plotkin makes his debut here, having previously worked as an editor on previous Activities, and brings everything we know from the series to date, doing nothing particularly new with them, but not wrecking what works in the process, either. The rumbling base that signifies that arrival of Toby, the counting down of the nights alerting us that something bad is on it’s way, and the film does a good job of inserting more than a few jump-shocks.
However, by claiming it’s going to tie up all the loose ends, the film instead just ends up tying itself in knots. There’s time-travel and astral planes and ancient demon lore, and the whole thing just gets way too complicated to be any fun, in much the same way the Saw series did. We didn’t come here for explanations, we came here to be scared, but The Ghost Dimension forgets that for scenes on end, concering itself with having everything make sense, and even failing at that – how any of the events of The Marked Ones tie into the overall arch of the series is anyone’s guess, and The Ghost Dimension doesn’t bother trying to explain it.
From those humble beginnings of a man, a woman, a bedroom, a video camera and an unseen entity, we’ve gotten to this decades-spanning, occult-worshipping mess. That sense of dread has gone, the feeling of unknown evil threatening people for no reason. A lesson that Hollywood still seems to fail at learning; once you put a face to the horror, 90% of why we were scared disappears, never to return.