Sunday, October 4, 2015

Film Review: Entity (2012)

Entity (Review)
United Kingdom/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It starts off very promising, but that promise is broken within minutes."

A film crew for the television show Darkest Secrets enter a remote Siberian forest where 34 unidentified people were found murdered....

Entity follows a film crew compromised of Kate (Charlotte Riley), the host, Ruth (Dervla Kirwan), the psychic, Yuri, a Russian author, and two cameramen. This underdeveloped group travel into the forest and immediately find the grave site. After her visions, Kate feels an ominous power beyond the horizon, then leads the group to an industrialized facility. At the facility, the group begin to experience bizarre supernatural events. Eventually, they find the real reason they've been led to the facility. It leads exactly where you expect it to go. The ending is very generic and, like the rest of the film, it drags its feet to the finish line.

Entity is a forgettable and generic horror film. This film is shot in traditionally and with the found-footage style – whenever it's convenient. It seemed promising at first, but it unfortunately adopts most of the issues that plague the latter. The characters are incredibly generic and hollow, the horror is nearly nonexistent, and the camera is handled poorly. Like the general style of the film, the plot starts off promising with some disturbing and interesting events. Unfortunately, after this great hook, the film becomes tedious and, well, generic. The film's pacing and balance is mediocre. Too many of the unnecessary scenes are dragged out, bloating the runtime and making the film move at a snail's pace.

The setting was interesting all-around. It's perhaps the only saving grace for the film. The forest and the facility were ominous. They're not very diverse, especially since the facility scenes are comprised of only a few rooms, but they are ominous – until they become dull due to the poor pacing and balance. The film has a few eerie scenes and jump-scares, but nothing really stuck with me. The film occasionally grips you with its eerie ambiance, but the dull plot may keep you dozing. Looking back, it's really not a frightening film at all. It absolutely fails to leave an impression.

The acting doesn't fare much better. The cast is serviceable in replicating the television crew personas, but suffers when the roles become demanding. Dervla Kirwan, for example, is too tender and overdone – she seems to overact to the point of seeming insincere. Charlotte Riley delivers a good performance, though, capturing the host persona without overacting. The film's found-footage aspect is bad. As usual, the camera is shaky during most scenes and it conveniently malfunctions wherever something happens – I absolutely despise when filmmakers do this. Why would the camera malfunction during the climax of a scene? Why? As for the shaky cam, it seems they hired a Cops cameraman who's in “chase mode” by default. Writer and director Steve Stone can create some chilling scenes and craft an ominous atmosphere. Unfortunately, the plot is too thin and generic and the horror is too underwhelming. Stone also refuses to deviate from the broken formula.

Overall, Entity is a bad horror film. It's not the worst film ever made, but it's very dull and forgettable. It doesn't leave any impression due to the generic plot, boring characters, underutilized environment and concept, and the severe lack of horror. There are a few moments where it shines, but those are hidden in a muddled and generic plot. It starts off very promising, but that promise is broken within minutes. I'd only recommend if you're a big and forgiving fan of these types of horror films. Otherwise, I'd stick to Grave Encounters, which is much funner and exciting.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood. I think there might have been some brief nudity, but the poor lighting and camerawork make it hard to see, so it may as well be nonexistent.

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