Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension review - more found footage that should’ve stayed lost

The horror franchise that started with such a bang goes out with a disappointing whimper

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
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Director: Gregory Plotkin
Cert: 15A
Genre: Horror
Starring: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Dan Gill, Ivy George, Olivia Taylor Dudley
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins

A young family comprising hipster dad Ryan (Chris J Murray), hot mom Emily (Brit Shaw) and cutsey-pie kid Leila (Ivy George) are preparing to celebrate Christmas with guests. While untangling the decorations, Ryan’s visiting, lately dumped, brother Mike happens upon an old camera and a stash of VHS cassettes.

It soon transpires that the ancient camera dates back to a historical age known as “the 1980s”, and that its customised lenses require viewers to pay a premium for 3D glasses so they can look at dark floating particles which increasingly congeal into the shape we recognise as Toby, the demon from earlier instalments.

While Ryan and Mike pour over the videos, Leila falls increasingly under Toby’s spell. Should parents worry when evil shapes appear in the vicinity of the little girl’s room? Is it cause for concern when the child’s sleepwalks see her destroying bibles and burying rosary beads? Is it normal for kids to attempt to open a portal to another dimension near their butterfly mural?

The sixth, much-delayed film in the Paranormal Sequence promises to tie up the loose ends left by the first four films. If only. While 3D does lend approximately 3 per cent more oomph to the film's jump scares – we counted two-and-a-half of them – there's no neat conclusion on offer. In terms of quality, Ghost Dimension feels like a retrograde step coming after the comparatively superior spin-off, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.

The actors do well enough with material that could easily have been randomly plundered from earlier works in the found-footage franchise. Sort of like a Dadaist experiment. Picture Marcel Duchamp's Fountain without the title. And with some urinal cake.

It’s sad to see a series that started with such a bang go out with such a whimper. But it’s better than wringing a seventh movie from this tired old formula.