The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Entity | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Entity

Not to be confused with the 1982 Barbara Hershey breast molestation poltergeist thriller.

Directed by: Steve Stone
Starring: Dervla Kirwan, Charlotte Riley, Branko Tomovic, Rupert Hill, Oliver Jackson

In 1998, multiple bodies are found buried in shallow graves in a remote Siberian Wood. In 2010, a British TV crew from “Darkest Secrets”, with the help of a psychic medium, attempt to uncover the mystery of what happened to these people twelve years ago. Does it have something to do with the abandoned facility near the site of the murders?
Or to put it another way we are back in the realm of found footage, shaky cam, something spooky in the woods, horror that is becoming very dull and very familiar indeed. To his credit, director Stone alleviates this problem somewhat by using a mixture of first person point of view and more traditional methods of filming. Meaning that when the shit hits the fan you are not thinking why don't you put the camera down and start running.
It's a tidy enough premise. The use of Russia as a location (though to my eyes it looks very much like the UK) is original and for a low budget horror Stone has assembled a gaggle of familiar TV names who can bring the necessary emotional heft to make this type of hokum work. Set up aside though, it is all very familiar. A hodgepodge of 'Blair Witch Project', with a little bit of 'Rec' and just a pinch of 'Scanners'.
Stone is to be applauded for keeping the set up simple. It's essentially a two location film which doesn't feel the need to over explain it's horrors but in order for it to resonate it needs to make you care for its characters. Dervla Kirwan, as psychic Ruth Peacock, has the most difficult role in making you believe she is anything more than a Derek Acorah type charlatan. Charlotte Riley, as “Darkest Secrets” reporter, is really very good. Particularly excellent as her character slowly mentally collapses under psychic assault. The rest of the cast are fine but they are under developed so there is no feeling of terror or emotional investment as the tale unfolds.
The horror is by the numbers quiet moments followed by explosions of loud volume to make you jump, which combined with the claustrophobic nature of the research facility location put you on edge. Brutally effective but in no way scary. The monsters should be sympathetic as well as destructive but seem more bored than angry and the ending any seasoned horror fan will see coming a mile off.
If you still have any taste for found footage horror then this has it's moments, a lights out moment of terror reminiscent of the finale of 'REC' is particularly effective. With a good cast making all the right noises it should have been more fun. But this has come at the tail end of a very long wave of 'Blair Witch' inspired shockers.
Uninspired but watchable horror fodder for a Friday night.

Jason Abbey