DVD Review: British Horror ENTITY Is Far From Spook-tacular

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I find it hard to believe that anyone involved in Entity believed that they were making something original, or good for that matter. This low budget British horror follows a camera crew filming a Most Haunted style documentary in the Russian countryside, at a location where a mass grave was discovered several years before. The group is led by Ruth Peacock (Dervla Kirwan), a medium who sees dead people (don’t they all). Soon she’s communicating with the deceased, however they aren’t happy about being disturbed from their paranormal slumber. Dun Dun Duuuuunnnn.

Part found footage, part ‘traditional’ feature; Entity can’t really make up its mind what it wants to be. Writer/director Steve Stone appears to decide on a whim how he wants to present the film and the ‘found footage’ aspect is (thankfully) pretty much ditched at the film’s midway point, leaving us with a substandard traditional shocker.

Any horror film using the found footage aesthetic is going to be compared to The Blair Witch Project – even one as confused as Entity – and it simply doesn’t measure up. Few fright film’s can, although the similarly themed Aussie chiller, The Tunnel, came close. The horror sub-genre has limped along for the last decade and a half, partly because it’s an easy way for filmmakers to cover the cracks of low production values and partly because…well…I don’t know why else you would do it. It’s a concept that has been done to death a dozen times over and at this stage it’s just lazy filmmaking.

There’s not a great deal to recommend in Entity. It’s not particularly scary and there’s no real revelation story-wise. The Russian aspect is not really explored, while there’s little-to-no character development. I suppose the performances aren’t bad, but nobody is given much to do other than run around in the dark with flashlights. It’s clear that someone has seen The X-Files.

I’m all for championing low budget films, but it’s hard to look at Entity and see anything else other than an opportunistic way of making cash (not that I think that’ll happen). There’s nothing new here. Entity is lazy horror filmmaking by numbers, ticking the right genre boxes and making perfunctory scare-jumps. It’s mercifully short (1hour and 24 minutes), so I’m sure that’s something we should be grateful for.

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