Paranormal Entity Review
Written by: moviemaven
The saying goes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Sometimes, though, imitation is just the sincerest form of theft. We can always expect people to attempt to capitalize on pop culture. If something does really well, then we'll see tons more of the same. The horror genre is no exception. In the film industry, these rip offs are known as mockbusters. Paranormal Entity is a mockbuster of Paranormal Activity plus you can throw in The Entity and The Blair Witch Project just for good measure. As a matter of fact there are so few original ideas in this movie that I would almost classify it as a spoof if it were either funny or clever. But since it's not...rip off.
The story goes that this guy, Thomas Finley (Shane Van Dyke) was convicted for the rape and murder of his sister as well as the murder of a paranormal investigator (Norman Saleet). He plead not guilty but was found guilty anyway, went to prison and committed suicide. A year later (it's always a year) these surveillance tapes were found in the attic (wha?) and his relatives want them to be shown so the public can decide whether or not he really was guilty.
The surveillance was the idea of Dr. Lauren (see dead investigator guy above) to document a haunting or some such that the Finley family has suffered. To canvas the home, Thomas puts static cameras in the living room and in his sister's (Samantha) room as well as his mom's (Ellen). We then spend eighty five minutes wondering when the hell something will really happen.
First off, the acting is simply god awful. I often say that a film can be saved if the story is good enough and engaging enough to transcend above the acting. But when the premise is that you are watching real footage of real people...come on! I tried really hard to get into what was going on but I just didn't care. Ellen (Fia Perera) kept pulling me out of the scene. She reminded me of a high school actor; one who doesn't plan to pursue a career in the performing arts. So while she's busy chewing up dialogue, Samantha spends the majority of the film staring into space. And when she's not catatonic, she's in a pissy mood. I wanted to slap her and scream, "Emote, Goddamn you!" She is supposedly being terrorized by a randy demon but we don't really know because nothing is ever said about what actually happens to her. There are some bruises and some screaming and more far away looks but that tells us zippo. The back of the box promised me sexual content and scenes of horror and gore. Whomever wrote that is a damned liar. And anytime someone begins to tell us what happened, they end up going off on a tangent concerning something not relevant to my interests so all we get is Thomas wandering around with his handheld, capturing moments of his sister and mom doing nothing but getting on my nerves. I really didn't give a flip about the story at all.
There are two moments of creep within the eighty five minutes but that does not warrant a viewing. There is a point where we get tossed into haunted house theme park mode. That's one of the good times; It's like going through a funhouse. It almost makes you forget how crappy every other part is but then it's over and we're back to moping and overacting. The inclusion of footprints on the ceiling is a nice touch, even if they go on for way too long. This movie seems to suffer from "don'tknowwhentoquit disease" on a regular basis. But that's easily balanced by "don'tknowwhentostart."
Then at one point we follow Thomas as he is looking for his sister. Of course he finds her in the attic and (are you ready?) she is facing the wall in her bra and panties. I had just made the joke that he would find her that way and I'll be damned if he didn't. ARE YOU KIDDING ME OR WHAT?! I would also like to note that if someone is being tormented by an Incubus, does it make sense that they would then sleep in their underwear? I'm thinking at that point they'd be wearing a chastity belt and a friggin suit of armor. But maybe that's just me. I was excited for a second but she wasn't dead yet. Thomas then decides that Mom and Sis should go to a motel while he stays just in case something happens. I was all kinds of happy at this point because we were getting rid of them for the night and, sonofabitch, they came back. It followed them so they came back. I just couldn't catch a break with this flick. Then the doctor that they've been calling all movie shows up, says twice that he would have been there sooner if possible, and proceeds to spend about thirty minutes spitting out two sentences only to lead us to a completely unsatisfying end. Okay, that's a lie. I was satisfied that is was the end.
If you are a fan of paranormal storylines, ghost hunting, or just a voyeur, you may be tempted to pick up this rental. For the love of Barbara Hershey do NOT. I implore you to turn around and walk the other way. Just turn around and pick something random off the shelf behind you. You will fare better, I guarantee.