[Screen It]


(2015) (Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw) (R)

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Horror: A family discovers an old video camera that allows them to see a ghostly apparition haunting their new house, and they quickly discover that the demon is stalking their 8-year-old daughter.
Ryan (CHRIS J. MURRAY) and Emily (BRIT SHAW) are a young married couple who move into a beautiful new home in Santa Rosa, Calif., with their cute 8-year-old daughter, Leila (IVY GEORGE). Christmas is coming up, and they've invited Emily's yoga-instructor sister, Skyler (OLIVIA TAYLOR DUDLEY) and Ryan's recently jilted brother, Mike (DAN GILL), to spend the holidays with them.

Soon, though, all five start to realize they may not be alone in the house. Ryan finds an old video camera left from the people who owned the property years earlier. He turns it on and starts filming and starts to see various distortions in the lens. He also discovers a box full of old videotapes of a mother, father, and two sisters who lived in the house in the late '80s and early '90s. As the girls age in the tapes, Ryan starts to notice the parents are nowhere to be found and that another lady who the girls call "mother" now lives with them along with a possible cult leader.

Before long, Leila starts to exhibit odd behavior and strange things begin happening around the house. The old video camera shows a possibly malevolent entity stalking the little girl. Ryan and Emily call in a Catholic priest, Father Todd (MICHAEL KRAWIC), but it may already be too late.

OUR TAKE: 3.5 out of 10
For films screened late the night before their Friday opening date, we only provide a few paragraphs of critical analysis.

"Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" marks the sixth film in this found-footage haunted house series, and the producers and studio of record swear it's the last. Let's hope so, because the things that go bump in the night in these flicks no longer have the ability to scare, frighten, or unnerve. At this point, the various thumps, creaks, moans, and knocks are more annoying than anything. You just want to let out a bothered, "OH, WHAT NOW?!" when you hear something strange off-camera.

But it's all new to the characters in the film, a family that includes a father, mother, and an 8-year-old daughter who are joined by mom's attractive sister and dad's schlubby brother for the Christmas holidays. They soon learn that a demon from Hell who calls himself Toby is stalking the little girl as part of a ritual to make himself whole so he can enter the world. Toby is quite ambitious, by the way. More ambitious than the filmmakers, for sure. He's actually crafted a portal that connects the kids he terrorized on the same property in 1988 to the child he's stalking in 2013. It's too bad he couldn't have had some fun with this conceit. It would have been awesome for him to open the portal in little Leila's room and shriek, "I've come 25 years into the future for your soul!!! And, by the way, why are there no flying cars or hoverboards?!?!"

But there's no such fun to be had. Just a lot of tedium, with characters always equipping themselves with a video camera to chronicle their slow, idiotic pans around and incredibly slow walk-throughs of their dimly lit McMansion. The film doesn't build tension. It just repeats the same beats over and over again until Toby (who mostly takes the form of a giant oil slick that seems more ripped out of one of J.R. Ewing's nightmares) finally gets angry enough to end the movie. Ugh. Hopefully, Toby has ended this series, too. Nothing here to see anymore. This rates no better than a 3.5 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed October 22, 2015 / Posted October 23, 2015

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