While a feature length running time of eighty minutes is short by anyone’s standards, in the case of The Entity, eighty minutes is still far too long.
Although it’s not to be confused with the 1983 Barbra Hershey starrer of the same name from director Sidney J. Furie (that Martin Scorsese famously listed as one of the scariest films ever made), much like the earlier Entity, this Peruvian import is also said to have found its inspiration in true tales.
Taking a much looser approach to the facts, the film – which marks Peru’s first foray into 3D horror filmmaking – has been unceremoniously released onto two-dimensional DVD in the states nearly a year after making its festival debut at London’s Film4 FrightFest.
A lackluster cross between The Ring and any number of found footage features that have hit screens in the United States or abroad since The Blair Witch Project premiered more than fifteen years ago, The Entity belongs to that new subgenre of horror movies so predictable that they might as well be dubbed “The Call is Coming From Inside the House.”
As such it’s easy to see precisely where the film within the film about film students (making a film about filmed reactions to other films) is headed after only a handful of scenes.
Practically introducing the film's villain by name during the character's first scene, while it does occasionally feel like a film school project in its own right, to screenwriter Sandro Ventura’s credit, The Entity opens with a screen full of text so eerie and full of untapped potential that you cringe when moments later, everything starts to go spectacularly wrong.
Still it is possible to look past the rubble of 3D intended special effects and messy meandering excess (all of which makes the eighty minute Entity feel twice as long) to see the ghost of a superior chiller hiding in plain sight.
And while we’ll never know if director Eduardo Schuldt’s Entity would’ve been more successful if he and his scripter would’ve ditched the shaky camera documentary approach, the film is at its strongest when it places its narrative emphasis on cursed videos from the dark web.
A chaotically structured picture stretched far beyond its breaking point, The Entity breezes by its promising premise so quickly that – much like the no-frills videos the film’s characters find online – Peru’s thematically spooky Entity would most likely have been better served as a kickass twenty (or so) minute short.
While undoubtedly made in the hopes of netting Peru its own piece of the internationally successful found footage film pie, unfortunately with so many choices in this oversaturated horror market, most viewers will lose interest long before The Entity reaches the halfway point of its improbably long eighty minute running time.
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