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Movies [REVIEW] - Paranormal Entity


Problematic Shitlord

Paranormal Entity

Directed, written and produced by Shane Van Dyke
Released December 22nd, 2009 by The Asylum
90 Minutes, Unrated

(Spoilers marked)

For many, this may turn out to be a review full of firsts. To start, have you ever heard of a 'mockbuster'? Now you have! Film company The Asylum have made it their goal to be the movie industry equivalent of a deer tick, latching onto creatures bigger than themselves and leeching away as much of their life force as they can before being plucked off and subsequently (hopefully) murdered. Not only that, but then they leave behind a sickness that takes you days to get rid of. The Asylum has mastered such epic ripoffs like Alien vs. Hunter and Snakes on a Train and even Titanic 2. This all being said, I did not learn any of this until after I saw Paranormal Entity, the shameless ripoff of the smash movie Paranormal Activity.

I was at a buddy's house for the weekend and we decided to peruse Netflix for something to keep us entertained (fucking Failstation Network). We came across this gem and decided why the hell not and watched. Being a fan of Paranormal Activity I was amused at how similar the title was and to see how many similarities there would be. To sum it up, we have a house with a mother and her two kids both in their early 20's. One is not even worth remembering, he's a sniveling little bitch who is more concerned with mocking his mother and sisters' coping problems as their father has recently passed. All you need to know is he is always the one holding the shaky-cam and he is a creepy, annoying character who I suspected throughout the movie, masturbated to photos of his sister judging by his remarkable ability to catch his sister in a towel, her underwear or just plain lookin' damn sexy. I think I'll refer to him as Dipshit. This is a cheap trick employed by the filmmakers obviously to keep your attention in the film because the paranormal part of the film is vague and unexplained until the last fifty seconds of the film when the information is shot across your face like Ron Jeremy had it in his balls the whole time so the only realistic way to keep you watching is in hopes you get a topless shot of Samantha.

Trouble begins when mom, a woman who looks like she is constantly on the verge of burning her house down and murdering her children in a bloody, depressed rage, hears from a psychic that writing to her dead husband is the best way to communicate with him. She does so and claims to feel a presence with her. Mistaking it for her husband, she continues to write and inadvertently invites in a malevolent force. It begins to mess with mom for a bit but quickly turns it's focus on Samantha, the hotter, more sexually exploitable member of the family. Dipshit naturally bothers Samantha repeatedly about what has happened to her as it is alluded early on that whatever this force is, it has been quite 'inappropriate' with Samantha. The story is told through Dipshit's camera and the security cameras in the house so no points for originality there.

Then, to put it bluntly, nothing happens for 80 minutes.

I'm not kidding.

There is a few predictable yet creepy moments of family members being possessed but it's nothing to rival the sheer, primal tension of Paranormal Activity. Now I feel I have to reiterate (or maybe I didn't mention it) but Paranormal Activity is not a grade A film. It's great for a scare and fun to watch once in awhile, but it would rank only in my top 100 movies and nothing else. But nothing of serious scare value or story progression happens whatsoever. No character or story developments, not even a damn set change. Just shots of characters looking awkwardly nervous and not even the right kind. Instead of the "a demon is haunting my house and I never read the bible" type of nervous, mom and sis look like they're constantly holding in raunchy farts the types of which could tear families apart (as if theirs needed any more help). Not like they should worry, watching them rip ass and killing Dipshit would have made the film awesome. That's how low the bar is, folks.

Here be spoilers. You're not missing anything, really. Just click it. If anything, it will probably make you want to watch. You know, if you're sick like me.

The film culminates after a vastly boring midsection of trance like possessions and a cross jumping off of Samantha's wall (several times, as if they were trying to convince us too much that it's scary) with not so much as a hint that this thing has any physical manifestations. Then out of nowhere, the family psychic returns from his vacation and shows up at home, sputtering the expected "this thing is a terribly evil force" fuckery and eventually agrees to help the family rid themselves of the thing, which he explains is a type of Incubus, an entity that rapes women in their sleep. Then the camera mysteriously fades to black and jump cuts to the floor, where the psychic lays dead, blood pooling from his mouth. Nope, no explanation. Dipshit picks up the camera and there is no sound. Mom has been gone for a bit (she's in the hospital for some kind of random "I can't handle this" trauma) so Dipshit fumbles around for a moment but only after a bloodcurdling scream from Samantha's room (had to get the camera first, priorities folks, priorities).

We are then treated to the only frightening scene in the movie and a notably disturbing one as Samantha is being raped in mid-air by the invisible force. She's coated in what looks like her own blood and her head is dangling as she seems to have no control over her body. Dipshit yells and yells and tries to help Samantha, finally dropping the camera. We are then treated to a vicious choking sound and thud then silence. The camera is picked up and focuses on Samantha's lifeless body and face before cutting off. It is unclear what happened to Dipshit during this as he seems to have disappeared. Perhaps the incubus killed Samantha and possessed him? Who knows, who cares. The film ends with a note that Dipshit was blamed for her rape (magic rape with no DNA evidence, right?) and sentenced to prison time while mommy offs herself at the hospital after hearing of her daughter's demise. Nothing that ties in with the beginning of the film where we are treated to details that do not match up with the story).

Overall, we're left with a feeling of complete and utter guilt. We've given the Aslyum our time and we'll never get it back. The story is choppy, drags its tiny, tiny dick along for what seems like hours and culminates in an unsatisfying and expected turn of events. The acting is awful, the sound is awful, the story is awful and the effects are awful. The movie has zero redeeming qualities and it is quite clear the Asylum has no intention of producing a quality film. Like the tick, they're here to leech off of others and have no intentions of stopping. The story actually has some great potential in my opinion but with all things considered, you're better off getting air-fucked by a ghost.

Final Ranting Rating: Where's Bill Murray when this type of paranormal shit happens? I'd cross the streams just to save myself from seeing it again.