Due to the allhorror.net site not currently up I’ve decided to post this review here for now. Hopefully, in time it’ll go up over there too. I was lucky enough to see this film on Saturday as part of Abertoir and Chapter Arts team up over the Halloween weekend, culminating in a showing of The Evil Dead and Before Dawn tomorrow night (go to abertoir.co.uk/events/cardiff for more information – there is still time to book!). This showing was only the second screening in the UK before it hit Celluloid Screams the day after, so pretty excited to be doing a review for it.
Director/Writer: Steve Stone
Starring: Dervla Kirwan, Charlotte Riley & Michael David Worden
Entity follows Kate (Charlotte Riley) a producer/presenter working on a programme called ‘Darkest Secrets’, aiming to investigate the mysterious discovery of a mass burial ground, along with members of her team Matt (Rupert Hill) and David (Oliver Jackson). The team are also joined by psychic Ruth Peacock (Dervla Kirwan) who serves to lead them to the site and also provide some contact with the deceased in an attempt to discover what happened to them, while Yuri Levkov (Branko Tomovic), has his own, darker reasons for participating in the investigation.
If anything can plunge horror fans into despair at the moment, it’s the arrival of yet another found footage film. Luckily, director of Entity Steve Stone, despite looking to programmes like Most Haunted for inspiration has made a film that utilises the more effective elements of found footage, while still creating a film without the usual trappings of the sub-genre. This is achieved through the switching between the first-person shaky-cam style and the more conventional filming style so you’re not left reaching for sick bags from being shaken around for the full run-time. What this does, however, is make the inevitable shaky-cam segments all the more effective.
It is refreshing to watch a low-budget that does not suffer from a weak link amongst its actors, with all playing their respective parts well and with subtle nods to character pasts and motives without having to explicitly tell the audience all about their backgrounds. It is no wonder that the film has already secured distribution as it cuts straight to what horror audiences really like and keeps the action moving. The haunting performance of Michael David Worden as Mischka is incredible, considering Worden’s relative lack of experience and adds greatly to the atmosphere. It does subvert some common horror tropes by refusing to follow a character’s reaction to something in the distance with a reverse shot, meaning that the suspense is kept up and the Entity is not always revealed completely to the audience.
With director Stone’s background in digital art there is an expectation that the focus will be on impressive visuals and while the visuals of the asylum where much of the action takes place are suitably daunting, the sound design is the real heart of the film. It is, without a doubt, one of the best uses of sound in an independent feature that I have experienced. The cinema rumbled and creaked along with the film asylum and frequently built to borderline painful ear-piercing screeches that put the audience in the same space as the on-screen characters.
I would give it a very strong 5 out of 5 and urge people to check out the website http://www.entitythemovie.com for more information and forthcoming screenings. For the sake of a better experience I would strongly suggest seeing it in a cinema if possible, just to be able to ‘feel’ that sound.