When Eduardo Schultz found footage horror film The Entity starts, you’ll be wondering if this spook-venture is worth even switching on. Can you really watch another hour and twenty minutes of screaming in the dark? Thankfully, the Peruvian feature (not to be confused with the superb 1982 Barbara Hershey film) does have enough interesting ideas and technical prowess to make it an enjoyable, yet average, experience.
The film opens with a panicked video feed from a young man being chased through a cemetery, titles tell us that many videos like this one have appeared recently all documenting the same terrible force. The Entity then follows a group of high school students who have been tasked with making a film for class and decide, after gentle nudging from one of the boy’s ex-girlfriends (Daniella Mendoza) to focus their film on “reaction videos”.
It’s an interesting idea. Schultz – usually attached to animated children’s features- manages to set up an intriguing found footage concept and keep it consistently scary. Ignoring everything around what the viewers are watching is more uncomfortable than you might expect, but it doesn’t quite get used to full effect. Schultz eventually abandons the possibilities attached to his concept and the film becomes disappointingly average by focusing on bloody murders and lots of running around, rather than talking about online urban legends and the “dark net”.
Reaction videos are simply a means to an end, navigating the group to a haunting colossal cemetery where they expose themselves to a cursed snuff tape (from the Inquisition?) and fall prey to a foul demonic presence. Saying that, some of the deaths, and indeed the films, have an unmistakable quality of danger and paranoia to them, and that’s difficult to pull off.
The Entity would be dismissible if it weren’t for a well-executed sense of dread, which permeates much of the film even with some laughable moments. Schultz unfortunately ditches the ideas which interest most which is such a shame because by the end, The Entity is nothing more than boisterous playtime in a spooky graveyard, topped off with a surplus twist.
Dir: Eduardo Schultz
Stars: Rodrigo Falla, Daniella Mendoza, Carlos Casella, Mario Gaviria