The Chiller network kept advertising that they would be broadcasting The Asylum’s PARANORMAL ENTITY tonight, so I figured I would watch it on Netflix since I noticed it was one of their Watch Instantly titles. Besides, the adult book store I frequent got raided earlier this evening and I really had nothing else to do.
For those of you unaware, Asylum is a film studio known for distributing B-movies capitalizing off the buzz from bigger studios. Asylum names their films similarly and release them around the same time as their big-budget counterparts. You know, just like some pornos do.
But instead of films like SHAVING RYAN’S PRIVATES, Asylum has films you’ve probably seen on Chiller or SyFy titled TRANSMORPHERS, THE DA VINCI TREASURE, and SNAKES ON A TRAIN. Sometimes they are so bad that I actually get a kick out of watching these stinky nuggets they like to call “tie-ins” instead of “rip offs” or “mockbusters”, the terms the rest of us like to use.
So with the financial success of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (our review) it came as no surprise that the clever people at Asylum would release their own suburban ghost story titled PARANORMAL ENTITY. As usual, my expectations were low, but after tossing a few Yuenglings down my gullet, I was ready for whatever Asylum threw at me. Before I let you know what I thought, check out the trailer.
For those of you who have seen PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, the film this one blatantly rips off, I’m sure this all looks pretty familiar to you as the setup is basically the same.
In this case, the movie is “found footage” shot inside the home of the Finley’s discovered after their deaths. Thomas Finley, his younger sister Shannon (Erin Hogan), and their mother start experiencing supernatural phenomena in their home a short time after their father is killed in a car accident.
Initially thinking it was the ghost of their dead love one, the events start to become violent and more sinister as time goes on, with a lot of the focus seeming to be on Shannon. At the advice of a paranormal researcher, Thomas sets up cameras around the house to document what is going on with the hopes of the information being useful in stopping it.
It doesn’t take long before the mysterious noises and moving furniture escalate to possession and attempted sexual assault, all leading up to the night of October 25th, the night Thomas called 911 for help, screaming that someone had killed his sister.
Surprisingly, as bad as this film was, I made it through to the end. Not content with ripping of the basic premise of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, they go as far as lifting entire scenes. Mysterious writing on the table? Check. Audio queue to signal the camera is about to capture paranormal activity? Check. Attic exploration? Check. Bed covers removed? Oh yeah, it’s here.
But I could have overlooked all that had the acting not been so horrid. If forced to choose, I’d rather have watched a George Lopez monologue over the mother’s ad-libbing, or listening to Thomas exclaim “oh shit!” as he swung the camera around like he was filming an episode of GHOST HUNTERS.
It also didn’t help that it was very noticeable that they were filming in a model home. It’s completely EMPTY. No food in the fridge or counters, no personal belongings anywhere. Hell, even the sister’s closet and dressers are empty. You wouldn’t think this would be such a big deal, but it’s a great example of how important set design is and how often it is taken for granted.
I’m not even going to get into the ending of the film that completely contradicts the 911 call from the very first seconds of the film, opening a plothole so big that my ego could stroll through it. So how come I sat through ’til the end? Four words: Erin Hogan’s beautiful breasts.
Without them I doubt I would have made it to the end, even with the nice beer buzz I had going. They play such a prominent role in this film they really should have had their own listing in the credits.
If they are not showing her mile long cleavage then we are getting shots of her in her underwear, her pajamas, naked in the tub and later getting her ovaries re-arranged by Casper the Raping Ghost.
Since it’s her brother filming everything, you get a bit of an incestuous vibe to boot. Or maybe I’m the only one that got that vibe. Either way, they focused on those puppies so much, the title could be changed from PARANORMAL ENTITY to ERIN HOGAN’S BIG TITTIES and it would not have been misleading at all.
If you dig bad movies with a bit of boobs then you may get a kick out of this. It’s PARANORMAL ACTIVITY meets THE ENTITY — but from Asylum. I will admit, had the very brief moments that worked been combined with a set designer (and anyone aside from the actress playing the mom) I could’ve maybe recommended this one as a possible guilty pleasure.
But as it stands now, I have to give PARANORMAL ENTITY one-and-a-half footprints on the ceiling out of five.
[rating:1.5/5]Tags: Horror, movie, Paranormal Activity, review