There are a lot of movies out there that capitalize on the names of others. There’s Snakes On A Train, Transmorphers, Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, and a multitude of others that do it with the art on the cover box or poster. Last night I watched Paranormal Entity. It took several aspects of what people responded to in Paranormal Activity and gave them a new twist…or attempted to anyway.
The movie begins with a family who just lost their husband/father. The mom was still an emotional wreck and began talking to him as if he was still alive inviting a presence into the house. The movie was shot as a found footage film complete with hand held video cameras, cameras stationed in the bedroom, and a camera in the living room. Weird stuff begins to happen in the house.
The movie was directed by Shane Van Dyke, a man who is no stranger to making features similar to bigger ones. He directed Titanic II and A Haunting In Salem, as well as writing others like The Day The Earth Stopped and Transmorphers: Fall Of Man. It’s not that the movie was bad it just didn’t have the same eerie feel as Paranormal Activity.
When making a found footage movie it is very hit and miss. Chronicle did a great job. So did The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Even The Last Exorcism was passable. But there are too many that rely on that idea too heavily and others that just don’t know how to use it. This felt like Van Dyke just wasn’t sure enough of what he was doing. I place no fault on him as a writer. The script wasn’t bad. The acting was far above what I expected. Erin Marie Hogan and Fia Perera were good as the sister and mother. And Van Dyke was good as the brother whom we rarely see on camera as he’s the one holding it. All in all I would say it was a worthy effort but not executed to its full potential.
I’m gonna have to give 2 out of 5 stars. I’m reluctant to go so low but I don’t feel justified to go higher.
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