Never strong on story or character, the found-footage 'Paranormal Activity' series has stuck around by dint of craft alone – no small feat when you consider how these films always felt like they were made by amateurs over single weekends with a few customer-grade video cameras and some fishing wire. Each time, a new gimmick would turn the concept on its head: the wandering "pool cam" or the oscillating "fan cam."
Finally, though, director Gregory Plotkin and his small phalanx of screenwriters have choked the ghost to death with this awful sixth installment, such a tepid bomb that it triggers catcalls from paying audiences. The USP this time – obvious from the start – is too much money: spectral black goo floats in the air like motes of dust, a computer-generated effect that feels like a breach of trust when we've come to expect less.
The generic suburban banality feels especially deadening this time around, as yet another family with a curious kid finds itself terrorised by loud bangs at night. 'The Ghost Dimension' introduces an obnoxious set of adult bros, one of them the man of the house, the other his dumped sib who's come to crash at Christmas time. Their discovery of an old video camera (complete with tapes) is painfully dull, and the rest of the cast's porn-level acting doesn't help to liven things up.
Worse still is the script's pillaging of the far-superior 'Poltergeist', complete with an extra-dimensional portal in a child's bedroom, a blond girl who becomes a vessel for evil and a late-inning heroic mom. The pleasures of a 'Paranormal' movie should be a lot simpler. You won't be squirming in your seat due to anything but boredom.