- Chris J. Murray
- Brit Shaw
- Olivia Taylor Dudley
- Dan Gill
- Ivy George
- Jessica Brown
- Chloe Csengery
- Don McManus
- Hallie Foote
- Cara Pifko
The film opens with a scene left off from Paranormal Activity 3 where Katie and Kristi are watching Dennis' spine crushed by a mysterious force. Grandma Lois takes the girls upstairs while the same entity takes the camera with them. They all go into a dark room where a man speaks to the girls about "Toby" and how they are critically important to his plan.
Twenty-five years later in 2013, Ryan Fleege (Chris J. Murray), his wife Emily (Brit Shaw), and their eight-year-old daughter Leila (Ivy George) are about to celebrate Christmas, when Ryan's brother Mike (Dan Gill) moves in after breaking up with his girlfriend. Along with them, is Skylar (Olivia Taylor Dudley), who notices that Leila is talking to an imaginary friend named Toby. While setting up the house that day, Mike finds a box of old video tapes, dating from 1988 to 1992. In them contain Kristi and Katie with their mother and her boyfriend Dennis in 1988, whilst others from 1992 are in Lois's house where the two are practicing supernatural abilities with the mysterious man. While watching one of the videos, Ryan and Mike notice that the girls are seemingly aware of the two's presence: they are able to foresee Ryan and Mike's every action as the pair simultaneously watch the video, such as Leila sneezing and Kristi replying to him "Bless you."
Leila's interaction with Toby coincides with Ryan using the old camera around the house, where he notices the camera picks up spiritual beings. He decides later to roll the tapes overnight to see what weird things are occurring. One night, a black and oily being arises out of the ground and it hovers over Leila for several hours (much like Katie did), and she eventually talks to it. Soon, Skylar walks in and checks on Leila, only to be attacked by the spirit. The next night, Ryan tapes Leila sleeping, but a dark and demonic spirit appears on camera and forces him to drop the camera. The following day, Ryan and Emily go out for the night and leave Skyler and Mike to take care of Leila. After experiencing the entity outside, they discover a slab of concrete in the ground with Katie and Kristi and the year 1988 etched in it. They discover their house is built on the same property that Katie and Kristi used to live in before their house burned down in 1992.
But Leila gradually becomes less talkative and this worries Ryan and Emily enough to call Father Todd (Michael Krawic). He interviews Leila relatively unsuccessfully, and as a result, Leila attacks him. Todd is convinced that 'Toby' is a demon linked to a cult called The Midwives. Ryan researches, and realizes this cult has killed a family in Nevada related to a boy namedHunter, who was born on the same day as Leila. One night, Leila's interaction with Toby leads her to open a doorway to another realm into which she disappears. Ryan and Emily soon find her, but flee with Leila to a hotel.
Father Todd comes back and attempts to cleanse the house. He decides to trap the demon, upon which the demon violently shakes the house. Todd is strangled and dragged away by Toby, leaving the family to finish the cleansing. Ryan entraps the demon in a white sheet. Leila returns to normal and the demon disappears. After thinking the ordeal is over, Skylar starts to vomit blood all over Mike, but the blood burns him, killing them both. Leila then begins to flee, Ryan and Emily pursue her upstairs, but Ryan is killed when a tentacle impales him through his chest. Leila sprints away into the "portal" in her room with Emily following her also; she arrives at Kristi and Katie's mother's house in 1988, where she finds a young Katie and finally confronts the human version of Toby. Emily pleads with the demon to spare Leila, but is killed when he snaps her neck; her body is tossed at the camera as it's also flipped over. Leila identifies the demon "Toby" and the two walk off (presumably to the coven) as the camera is abruptly cut off, ending the film.
The film was originally scheduled for October 2013 release, but instead was pushed back to October 2014 when it was announced in June 2013 that filming for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was almost finished. However, on September 17, 2014, it was announced that the film was postponed, and would instead be released in March 2015, and would assume the title "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension".
The film was directed by Gregory Plotkin, the editor of the past films, and written by Andrew Stark and Jason Plagan. A trailer was officially released on June 23rd at midnight and the movie came out on Oct. 23rd, with its theater openings being less than the 2,883 theaters for the last title.
In July, Paramount announced that it had struck a deal with AMC Entertainment and Cineplex Entertainment to make Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and Ghost Dimension available digitally, 17 days after they drop below 300 theaters, as part of a larger experiment, and asked other theaters to join in. In return, Paramount will share an undisclosed portion of proceeds of the VOD revenues. Per industry sources, Paramount is giving participating exhibitors an estimated 2-4% share of their digital revenue made between the time the film drops below 300 theaters and 90 days after its opening date. Those agreeing to Paramount's formula includes AMC, Canada's Cineplex, National Amusements and Alamo Drafthouse. But many circuits including Regal Cinema, Cinemark and Carmike have rejected Paramount's offer to release in VOD. This would mean that Ghost Dimension will only go out in roughly 1,350 North American theaters when opening on October 23—compared to 2,883 theaters for the last title and well north of 3,000 theaters for each of the previous three films. According to early pre-release tracking, the film was pacing to open to $10–12 million in the United States and Canada—despite the fact the film had the added benefit of 3D pricing, a first for the series—compared to $18.3 million for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. The reason why Paramount carried out this approach and experimented with these two younger demographic genre movies—which many believe to be a box office failure—was because of the theatrical failure of MGM's Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures said, "There is no question that we are going to do less theatrically, but I believe we will make it up digitally. This is about the long-term health of the business, so there is not this long period of time when a consumer can't watch a movie."
Because of this deal, The Ghost Dimension became the lowest grossing PA movie in the series: $17.9 million in North America, while highly more successful in other territories. The worldwide total piled up to $73.8 million, against a budget of $10 million. The movie also received a 14% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which wrote in its critical consensus that "the thrills are mostly gone."