Hello, Spongey here.
Our little finale month has officially begun, and it’s time to get into a more specifc franchise I sometimes talk about. While I don’t think I’m exactly known for doing it, it has been a staple of this blog since October 2012, and I needed to fill the extra slot somehow.
So we’re going to Paranormal Activity. This series has been interesting indeed. It helped make Found Footage even more popular, and has proved you can create big scares in a small way. It has been a hit or miss ride though.
The first two, were a bit mixed in some areas, and the 3rd one was the only one I fully liked, and even then it could be stupid at times. Plus, this series has created plenty of very mediocre clones.
It doesn’t help that the main series got a bit bump after a crappy 4th film, and a weak spin off. Nonetheless, I’ve had plenty of fun with these movies, even if it means pissing off a demon. Yeah, that was weird, but we’ve patched it up and he’s fine with me doing this. Right, dude?
I needed to get in a cameo from him before the end, seemed fitting.
Anyway, the popularity of the main series did seem to go down a bit after the 4th one, as the 5th film took a while to come out. It was slated for October 2013, but then got pushed back to October of 2014, with The Marked Ones in January to tide us over.
Then it was pushed to MARCH of 2015, before finally coming out in October of 2015. Yes, it took 3 years to release this damn thing. Kind of shows how much they care. The long wait is why this hyped up, as they claimed it would be the final film in the franchise.
You know, like how “The Final Chapter” and the “Final Nightmare” were the last films in those franchises!
Joking aside, they may be telling the truth as they haven’t announced another one. While this did make money, it did make less than the others, another one is unlikely at this point. It doesn’t help that the reception was poor.
With a 14 RT, this is the worst reviewed film in the series. Ouch. There were some warning signs, like how it was going to be in 3D. Yes, really. If there are scenes that require 3D, chances are they will take you of the movie, that’s trying to be realastic.
Even if that went out the window with all that crap that’s happened.
So far, things don’t seem too bright. As for the creative team, the director has done nothing, .and same goes for our four (!) writers. This isn’t too uncommon for a film like this, and it seems like they just wanted some fresh faces.
Either way, it’s finally time go back to the PA well once once. If this is the end, we need to see if it ends on a good note. Will it be a bang or a whimper? Let’s find out!
This, is Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
The movie opens with…the ending of PA 3. At least we’re starting with bits of something good. To recap, Dennis got owned by that darn demon and the Grandma took young Katie and Krisit. We go from where they left off, as they are taken to a creepy looking guy in a dark young.
“Your friend Toby. I’ve known him for a long time”
This will end terribly.
He tells them about they will do for Toby and then we just randomly cut to November of 2013. Well, at least we’re starting to slight answers. Now we know…what we could infer from before. Also, we see a Christmas Tree…in November.
This family gets ready early, don’t they?
We meet our family for the movie, and by now you know their “personalities”. So far we don’t know if their connections to the main stuff, so that means a crappy twist that makes no sense will reveal it later.
Ryan and Emily are a seemingly normal couple, who have to deal with Ryan’s brother staying after his girlfriend left him. He’s about as fun as that suggests. We get the usual fooling around, some of fine, some of it annoying.
We are given no reason they are filming this though. Like…none. Whatever reason, the camera picks up some strange sounds. Gee, I wonder what it is. Ryan gets curious about other strange things, but drops it to have sex with his wife.
It then cuts to him showing his camera.
“It looks pretty sick”
No one said that in 2013.
This camera is one he found in a box and he has no idea where it came from. I’m sure the strange sounds aren’t reason to be weary of that at all.
In that same, they found tapes, and by tapes I mean they found PA 3. Finally, we see who finds the footage in a FOUND footage movie!
“Do they just film everything?”
“I hate this family”
It’s better than your family so far.
Some of tapes end up being what we saw at the start, which makes me wonder it wasn’t put on by whoever edited the footage from 3, as it’s in the same box. Also, I assume these guys moved into their old house, which is how we have the connection.
Eh, not a bad idea, I suppose. We’ll see where it goes.
They see that guy teaching Katie and Krisiti about their powers I guess they have. This scene actually gets creepy as he has her describe something she sees when she closes her eyes, and it’s implied she sees our main character….but then it just turns into a lame jump scare.
Speaking of which, another happens a bit later, which turns out to be Mike being a dick. Riveting. After that actual plot progression, we get more joking around the next day. I like that creepy things start right away, but movies that get started right away tend to have filler in the middle to make up for it.
Ryan starts to think some supernatural stuff is going on, which is rather fast. There’s been some odd stuff but he should wait for the door to close before assuming there’s evil afoot. Skye thinks it’s possible, and I have no idea who this chick is.
Is she another daughter, a cousin, a neighbor, what?
While they are hanging around, Skylar thinks she feels something odd, and a few spooky noises seem to confirm. Something even seems to fly out of the pool. This is all ends on a false scare with the daughter. Lame!
The next day, they investigate this further and are unsure of what is going on. This amounts to nothing as we move to that night exciting scenes of someone walking around. The daughter is spotted chanting weird stuff into the mirror.
Eh, nothing to worry about. Also, say what you will about the demon, but he learned his lesson and is working fast.
In spite of some damning evidence, the Mom dismisses everything because we need a skeptic. I mean, usually I’m quick to call people out for jumping to conclusions but the supernatural is way too obvious this time.
With that, they set up cameras around the house to catch the ghost. Yep, that means we’re finally in the land of nothing, 29 minutes in.
“We’re gonna watch your daughter sleep all night, nothing weird about that”
The Land of Nothing is exactly as you remember it, mostly shots of not much happening until small things happen. This time we do get more, as we see some black inky stuff float around. Meaning, we get to see more of what’s going on.
In theory this could be either good or bad, depending on the execution. So far it’s underwhelming, but we’ll see. Eventually Skylar comes in to check on the daughter and seems to bump into the Spirit. Not much comes of this so opportunity for scares, wasted.
The next morning, Ryan has looked at the tapes and knows of the weird black spirit ink thing. She calls the thing Toby, which Ryan recalls from the 80’s tapes he saw.
“Toby is not a common name”
…Yes it is. Are you joking or something?
We’re at night now, and they hear some creepy stuff which they look into. They check in on the daughter, but the demon pops up for a jump scare. This demon isn’t going to get anything is he just spooks people instead of killing them.
We see them talking about it a bit later, but then it cuts to Night #3 incredibly quickly. Guess we’re making up for lost time. Not much happens as the daughter wanders around, and Skylar bumps into the inky demon thing. So we’ve replace closing doors with bumping to ink, how riveting.
The next day they tell Leia to stop talking to Tobey, but she refuses. She promises to stop but her tone tells us she’s clearly lying, but they move on anyway. They go back to the Katie and Kristi tapes, and notice how some cult started taking care of them.
That’s all we get before moving to Night #5. First off, where did Night 4? 2nd, things are getting kind of boring now. Not too shocking but that’s what happens when you start the creepy stuff too early.
Thankfully, our heroes are up at night, still watching the tapes. We get another bit with one girl saying she sees this exact situation. And of course, it is once again interrupted by a lame false scare. There’s a few dull jump scares in this movie, aren’t there?
The next day they show Skylar the tapes and it’s another scene where they cut to something else just as something interesting happens. They notice Leila has been scribbling strange symbols that are also in the tapes. They are interrupted by Leila doing more creepy stuff.
“He’s going to take me away”
I really don’t know what to say to that, I’m too bored to really come up with anything. Thankfully, a loud scary noises interrupts them and it cuts to the next day. I swear, most of this movie is people seeing a little girl do stuff, and loud noises.
It’s not giving me much to comment on compared to the other films. It’s somewhat interesting, but also kind of dull, a dangerous combination for a reviewer like me.
With all this going on, they naturally call a priest to talk to their daughter. He tells them the typical stuff, that the demon grows if it gets attention, which is a great reason to stop this franchise now.
He talks to Leila, but she ends up attacking him. They react correctly, but still move on like nothing happened. How does that happen?
They do some research and find out there are no records on the person who sold them the house, making them think someone put them here on purpose, instead of the demon just taking advantage of a new family coming. Just saying, it’s not scary if it’s this contrived.
Then we get the next Land of Nothing segment, where they are woken up by more loud noises and inky blobs passing off as demons. That’s pretty all this movie amounts to in the end, really.
The next day, they suspect that this demon is getting more powerful, and the wife suggests calling the police. You all know why that’s a dumb idea so I won’t bother reacting. Later, Ryan and Mike head out to do…something, and Emily tries to bond with the daughter, but the door closes on her.
Hey, only took us 70 minutes to get to the door closing action!
We cut to later as they find out about Hunter and how he seemed to be born on the same day as Leila. And once again, that snippet as we get before moving on to that night. Might as well, I don’t have to say to that info anyway.
During this night segment, a portal thing appears above Leila’s bed. …Well, this isn’t Nothing. She vanishes into the portal but she is found safe and sound a bit later. Guess the demon just wanted to have Tea with her for a bit?
All of this makes them decide to flee the house. Uh, they were told earlier by the priest that the demon will just follow them no matter what, so what good will this do?
Mike and Skylar stay for a bit, mostly so they can do more research and give us more info on what is going on. Basically, Leila’s blood is needed to finish Toby’s transformation into a physical being. I suppose that makes enough sense…
Then later, they find Leila randomly in her room doing creepy stuff. I think they should call Ryan and Emily as the daughter they left with being here is quite odd, but who cares about doing the logical thing when we can bring the priest back?
…And in the priest scene, Ryan and Emily are there, saying Leila randomly vanished on their end. I should learn to let a scene play before complaining about something. Also, the demon follows people, so why did she go back to the house, when the person is more important?
He decides they need to cleanse the house, to get ready for the climax and disappointing ending. Remember, this is the last film so it all has to end in an awesome way. This goes about as well as you’d expect, as the priest is killed.
Then all hell breaks as loose, as the stuff goes everywhere, and we see bits of the demon in all of his CGI Glory. Remember when this series started as very low budget affair that relied on very subtle and simple scares? My how things have gotten worse.
They manage to trip it in the circle, and after reciting something, he seems to vanish. We all know it can’t be that easy, so don’t even try to foot us. Right on cue, Skylar vomits blood and Lela runs off. They chase her, but a CGI demon arm kills Ryan. I care so much about this character with no personality to speak of.
Leila runs into the portal, which is back ,and Emily follows her. I’d like to say doing this is our jump the shark moment, but if you wish to count Marked Ones, then they did in the ending of that already.
She bumps into Young and Katie and Krisit, which means more time travel. Yay. They tell Emily it’s “Too late” and “He’s real now”. Oh boy, I can’t to see how disappointing Human Demon looks!
Well, for the next bit we only see his legs as he approaches Emily and he just looks normal for this angle. I was actually expecting something more creative yet also lamer. He kills Emily and throws her at the camera, like he’s known for doing. Just point him towards a door and we’ll be done.
He and Leila walk off, giving me the image of them having a playful montage, being best friends. The end. Yes, that’s where the credits roll. This is how the franchise ends. I…have mixed feelings.
On one hand, we kinda got answers and they reached their goal, bringing him to life. But, it just…feels weak, you know? Like, that’s what this was all building up to? Well, it it does make it hard to make another one, as what can you do with a human demon walking around without it being silly. Well, sillier than it already is.
Either way, that’s the end until the reboot in 20 years.
What is there to say at this point? This wasn’t as bad as the first one, as it made fewer big mistakes, but it still a dull waste. I’m kind of mixed, because the story really isn’t the worst. It makes sense for this to happen and the answers are what I figured they might be.
So what’s wrong? The execution. They put almost no effort into making an actual film, and just put a bunch of BOO noises and expected us to enjoy it. The others weren’t exactly amazing stories, but there was more effort put into them.
The characters are as generic as you can get, and I’m given no reason to like them. I guess the acting is fine but it hardly saves it. (The little girl isn’t too bad, by the way). Even more so than before, they just exist to die.
To decision to get right into it turned out to be bad, as it caused the film drag in the middle. Honestly, this was the most boring and repetitive out of all them, despite all the stuff going on. All that happens is a inky blob running around, and girl saying stuff.
At least the first two films were building up suspense with the little that happened. This barely even tries. Every time it’s almost creepy, a lame jump scare ruins it. News Flash, loud noises aren’t scary. Neither is CGI, by the way. I wouldn’t say this one gets annoying like some of the others, but it’s mostly just dull, despite (or maybe BECAUSE) so much loud stuff happens.
As a finale…eh. I mean, it gives us some answers, but it’s all stuff I expected, so it’s hardly shocking. If the movie was actually creepy build up and had this same story, it could have worked. You know, if they put effort into it.
There’s not even a good gimmick this time. We get to see an inky blob is 3D. Riveting. So it doesn’t have anything to draw people in this time. This one needed to be especially creepy or interesting, but it wasn’t
The filmmaers thought just seeing the answers was enough, so they half assed everything else, which is dumb. Now, this still isn’t the worst in the franchise, as I wasn’t really annoyed, and I couldn’t get that angry at it.
The 4th one made dumber mistakes and made no sense, while this at least put some effort into the story. Not sure how it compares to Mark Ones, but that got a worse grade than this will get so…meh.
Overall, you may enjoy this if you just want a bunch of jumps, but if you want an actual scary movie, you should look elsewhere. As a finale, I suppose it isn’t the worst, but it dissapointing as a film.
It mostly left me bored, as it gave me so little to work with compared to the others. But hey, at least it’s hopefully the last one. I mean, there’s nothing they can do with this idea at this point, may as well stop while you’re behind.
So yeah…it’s pretty meh. Still, if this is the end, at least we get three passable films vs 3 “Bad” ones. Kind of equal in the end.
Glad to be finally done with this franchise, at lest. Was fun at first but got tiring as I went on. Although if they somehow make a new one, I will be there.
Next time, our finale month takes us to a film that’s a bit more Outrageous.
(SMEGHEAD: There, that hint obvious enough for you?)