With Paranormal Activity 3 in theaters now, I thought I would check out one of the imitators of the series which kept popping up in my Netflix suggestions: Paranormal Entity. Seeing as it was another “mockbuster” from our friends at The Asylum, I just knew it would be worth a beer or six.
The movie is about a mother and her two grown children, a son and daughter, dealing with a ghostly presence in their house. The film begins in medias res as the son, Thomas, is setting up cameras to catch the activity of the supernatural being that seems to have its sights set on the daughter, Sam. What follows are the terrifying events of a single week that leads to the destruction and demise of every member of the family. Spoiler: my synopsis just made it sound way better than it actually is.
To Erin Marie Hogan, who plays the daughter, Sam. Although unable to do things like convey emotion or believability, she is at least very talented in the hotness department. Thankfully, the movie also comes up with some completely perfunctory, utterly gratuitous reasons for her to be naked. This is something which definitely gives the edge to Entity over Activity, which never had the balls to give us a Katie Featherston nude scene, despite my multiple internet petitions for it to do so.
Seriously, who wouldn’t haunt this?
The filmmakers, in their infinite wisdom, also unfortunately decided to have Sam be screaming bloody murder any time she’s naked. Now, I don’t know if it’s the shoddy sound equipment or if Erin Marie Hogan is just capable of reaching a frequency hitherto only the domain of nails on a chalkboard, but it felt like someone was driving an ice pick into my eardrum with every scream. So, just make sure to keep the mute button handy as soon as her clothes come off. This is also just a good tip for the rest of the movie as well.
Your best friend for the next 87 minutes
If any of you found Paranormal Activity dull, then the tedium of Entity will surely drive you to alcoholism. Basically, any scene where the ghost wasn’t pushing around a coffee table or turning on the TV could have used some shots of grass growing or paint drying just to spice things up a bit. I guess that’s what you get by having talentless actors improvising an entire film.
Down another beer as soon as you realize that the characters aren’t going to get any funnier, more likeable, or more interesting. Apart from the different pitches at which they screech at each other, they have no individual personalities of their own. A dot drawn on a piece of paper has more dimension than these people.
Wear these glasses while watching if you want to give the characters some depth
At the very least, a scary movie should be scary, right? Well, don’t get your hopes up. The calorie count of the five beers you just drank is scarier than what this film has to offer (and those better not be light beers, ya pansy). To break up the monotony of characters spouting mind-numbing monologues into the camera, the film occasionally has attacks by the titular entity, which consist of lights flickering, bells ringing, and knocking on doors. While these effects could be spooky if they happened to you in real life, the film does such a poor job of employing subtlety and building tension that we only know when we’re supposed to be scared because the characters are screaming about how scared they are (don’t forget about that mute button).
Finally, the denouement: the family gets a doctor that they have been calling throughout the whole film to come by and somehow exorcise the ghost. Shit is about to go down in a badass third act that blows the entire film’s budget in one massive special effects extravaganza, right? Wrong. The film decides to leave all the good stuff on the cutting room floor and instead cuts right from the doctor talking about the exorcism directly to the aftermath where he’s dead and Sam is, once again, screaming and naked. Are you serious? Everything that could have saved this movie just happened off-screen. Perhaps even the filmmakers got tired of making this thing and just said “Fuck it, let’s end it already.”
Sam, the daughter, kept a journal of her paranormal experiences and one of her notes said: “WHY AM I SEEING THIS?” Funny, I wrote the exact same note in my journal, but it was about this movie.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Sam’s boobs show up
Take a Drink: whenever you find yourself checking your watch
Drink a Shot: whenever the characters stay in the house when they clearly should be fleeing