Steve Stone’s low budget horror offering, Entity, is a film that will have a hard time constantly surprising you. Yet many will write this film off because of the lack of stars and budget, which would be a shame because whilst the film is mixed in some areas, there are aspects to admire and enjoy here. The film in many ways shares flaws and issues with recent survival horror The Chernobyl Diaries. Unlike that film though Entity does not overplay things and end up ruining the parts that work, instead the film progresses not gracefully but pleasantly enough.
The real prizes for this film, which won Best Sci-Fi/Horror and Best Low-Budget Film at The London Independent Film Festival, are found on the surface. The settings feel authentic, despite the film being shot in Yorkshire and set in Russia. Like the aforementioned Chernobyl Diaries this is a great looking film, which captures the despair and chilling nature of its ideas through its rundown and isolated setting. The occasional music and mixing of sound too is impressively played, capturing an essence of tragedy to the proceedings. The look and sound of this low scale production are commendably captured and while other more integral parts don’t match, Entity is a fair horror effort.
Stone’s film is muddled by its aspirations because it doesn’t really know what to embrace more, traditional film or found footage. Throughout the film, it flips again and again and it does leave Entity feeling indecisive overall. The writing also is plagued by its covering of common paranormal storytelling. The end particularly is guessable for anyone who has watched the likes of [Rec 2] or Grave Encounters. Then again Stone has not let his overall story slip and there are some occasional plays at human tragedy. Tragedy that almost belongs more in a Nazi-themed film. Entity acknowledges The Men Who Stare At Goats silliness of its idea and makes attempts to turn the psychic into the tragic.
The cast handle themselves as expected; the acting is fair but nothing earth shattering. Then again there is one particular scene involving Branco Tomovic that is suitably well acted and Dervla Kirwan as the group psychic is an appealing lead. If we are being completely fair, across the board the performances don’t clunk like many films of budgets big and small would. Entity is a film that is indeed undecided and on occasion some of the shooting is just as unfocused but all in all this is something of a fun, brief and spooky film. The start especially is impressively tone setting.
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