Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review - Entity (2012 - Dir. Steve Stone)

It was all going so well... then Derverlar Kirwans makes an appearance. No, give it a chance Mr Keith, it might surprise you. Okay then, let's have a look at it...

Derverlar Kirwans plays TV psychic Ruth Peacock, on a trip to a site where some people were killed in Russia. Her film crew hope that she finds something interesting to bolster their ratings. Suffice to say some ghostly occurrences happen.

So it's a ghost story. What's the first thing that springs to mind? Scary jumpiness. Yep. Well forget that, you'll not find any of that here. What you do get are loud noises (yawn) and the camera being thrown about in wild abandon. Confusion instead of shocks. Useless.

The fact that the director said that Paranormal Activity was an influence and how it made tonnes of money shows how cynical this film is. Sadly, the director can't even get a jump out of a still camera focussed on a room, a technique central to the above film. All you need to do is get something to quickly move, accompanied by a bang and Robert's your mum's brother. Nope, they didn't even get that right.

Now, I was willing to give Derverlar Kirwans a chance but her character is so devoid of character that I was hoping that Derek Acorah might pop up and take over. The presenter of the fictional programme 'Darkest Secrets', Kate (Charlotte Riley) is moderately watchable but suffers badly at the hands of the script. Another character advises her that they need to get out quickly. She acknowledges this and then proceeds to faff about on her laptop for ten minutes (using her quality 'Darkest Secrets' proprietary editing software). 

The TV programme premise leads to the next problem: the film intercuts between proper footage and footage that the fictional camera operator is taking. The only difference is that one is handheld, the other isn't. It really jars as there needs to be a greater difference between the two types of footage. The 'found footage' style shots are fine but the proper supposedly filmic footage just doesn't look good enough.

The overly spelt out ending doesn't help matters either. You're told at least three different times what's happening. I'd got it the first time, thank you very much. Plus, the ending doesn't link back to the theme of the film, it's simply a way to end the whole sorry mess. Add to that the fact that the first section of the film looks like it was filmed in the little forest outside the back of my house (Russia, my bottom) and virtually every element of the film is designed to pull you out of the experience and remind you that you're watching a film. Not good for building tension.

While Dominic Brunt has got a future in horror, either in front or behind the camera. Derverlar Kirwans hasn't. The best thing about this film was that I had a really good rant with a pint afterwards. This is a dire film, not as bad as V/H/S, but still really bad. Avoid like syphilis. (There's a quote to put on the poster.)

If you like this you could also try:
Paranormal Activity, Lake Mungo.

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