Friday, November 30, 2012

Movie Review: Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf

Runtime: 100 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: 2010
Director: Andrew Cymek

Johnny Morgan (director Cymek) lost his sister to the sadistic serial killer nicknamed The Wolf. As an adult, he partners with Elliot Carob (John Rhys-Davies, Sliders) to track down the killer. After snaring The Wolf, they learn that he got off by pleading insanity and is being sent to an old insane asylum. To make things worse, Johnny’s soon-to-be ex-wife Jamie (Brigette Kingsley) works there and the two no longer get along.

Compounding matters is that Wolf’s lawyer Gillian (Mercedes McNab, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) shows up at the hospital. She is worried that Johnny will do something to her client, and she wants to ensure that he gets the proper treatment. Dr. Robert Parker (William B. Davis, The X-Files) is also on hand as the creepy doctor in charge of the patients. When the hospital loses power and the patients get loose, Johnny must protect his wife from the people prowling the hospital.

Okay, so my description of the plot completely sucks, but I totally admit that. That said, I actually kind of dug this movie and I was surprised to see such bad reviews for it. Rhys-Davies is such a great actor, and he carries the early part of the film. Davis pretty much chews the scenery in most of his scenes, but he does such a great job of it that he kept me entertained.

Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf probably suffers some problems from those who go into it expecting a werewolf movie. I know I did when I saw the title, and I’m pretty sure that Netflix labels it as a creature movie, which is funny because it’s a straight up serial killer movie. Just keep in mind that this is a TV movie, which means limited blood and guts, but I still thought it was pretty good.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Darkness Movie Review

Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Director: Jaume Belaguero

A dark and abandoned house in Spain gets a new chance at life when a family from America moves there. Forty years before they moved there, a cult did an ancient ritual that led to six children disappearing. Regina (Anna Paquin, Trick ‘r Treat) is a typical teenage girl who doesn’t want to move and seems more concerned with her little brother Paul (Stephan Enquist) than helping around the house.

While her dad starts working, her mom Maria (Lena Olin, Queen of the Damned) tries to get the family on track in a new city. Her father-in-law Albert (Giancarlo Giannini, Hannibal) pops up frequently to help the family and try to help them when the father has problems. Mark (Iain Glen, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) begins suffering from breakdowns that occur in the middle of the day, sometimes when his children are in the car with them. To top it off, the house suffers from electrical problems that plunge the entire family into total darkness. Regina begins wondering if something darker is happening to her family.

I have probably seen Darkness six times by now and I seldom remember any of it. I tested a friend of mine because he claims that he loves this movie. He borrowed my copy about a month ago, and when I asked him about it, he had to admit that he barely remembered the movie. I have also seen the PG-13 version and the unrated version, and I couldn’t tell you the differences between the two cuts. It’s just another of those movies that I watch once and then forget about.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Movie Review: Case 39

Runtime: 109 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Director: Christian Alvart

Emily (Renee Zellweger, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation) is a social worker who often handles the toughest cases. She feels a connection with a young girl named Lilith (Jodelle Ferland, Silent Hill) who has problems with her family. During her investigation, Emily finds that the father wants nothing to do with the child and the mother denies any problems. Though the parents meet with the boss and deny any problems, they later try to kill Lilith by roasting her alive in the oven.

For some reason that defies logic and laws, Emily gains temporary custody of Lilith after her parents wind up in a mental institution. Lilith immediately begins acting weird, being way too clingy with her temporary mom and acting like she is her real mother. Emily discovers that one of her charges killed his parents, and the boy received a call from her house right before doing it.

Emily asks her friend and lover Doug (Bradley Cooper, My Little Eye) to meet with Lilith because he’s a psychologist. The little girl acts like an adult, making condescending comments and treating him like trash. When he admits his greatest fear is hornets, she smiles. Later that night, he gets an unusual phone call that leads to hornets attacking and he dies in the aftermath. Once she realizes there is something off about the little girl, Emily discovers that she might be too close to see the real problem.

I actually bought Case 39 back when we still had Blockbuster stores around us because I needed one more movie for the big sale and a friend who has similar taste told me he really liked it. I did like it the first time I saw it, but I just saw it a second time and I didn’t find it nearly as entertaining. Part of the problem is Zellweger who I absolutely cannot stand. I have a hard time buying her as a concerned social worker. She seems like she’s acting a little too hard through most of the film. And Cooper, who I absolutely adore, shares little chemistry with her onscreen.

Ferland is really the standout in the movie. This chick is so creepy that she should just spend the rest of her life devoting herself to horror movies because I can’t wait to see what she does as an adult.

What it really boils down to is that Case 39 asks you to suspend belief while setting the movie in a realistic world. Would any court actually give custody to Emily when she has no mothering skills or abilities whatsoever? Why does no one do anything when Emily clearly acts like she lost her mind? She keeps running around talking about how the little girl is a demon or possessed, and they don’t take away custody? It’s all just a little too much.

Monday, November 19, 2012

House at the End of the Street Movie Review

Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: September 21, 2012
Director: Mark Tonderai

Sarah (Elizabeth Shue, Piranha) is a former party girl who leaves that life behind when she divorces her musician husband and moves her daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games) into the middle of nowhere. Sarah isn’t fond of the dilapidated house next door, especially when she learns the story behind it. The family who lived there sent their son away to care for his aunt, and their daughter Carrie-Ann murdered them both before disappearing.

Naturally, Elissa meets Ryan (Max Thieriot, My Soul to Take), Carrie-Ann’s brother and starts to like him. He tells her that when they were kids, they were extremely close and played together like kids. During flashbacks, we learn that their mother was a drug addict who seldom paid attention to them. While playing on the swings, Carrie-Ann fell off and cracked her head on the ground. She had the mental capacity of a child and started acting out, which led to him leaving.

Even though Ryan literally seems like the sweet guy next door, Sarah is incredibly nervous about him being around her daughter. She asks Officer Weaver (Gil Bellows, The Shawshank Redemption) what he thinks, and the man gets a little upset. He tells her that people in town blame Ryan for what happened and that he’s constantly defending the boy. Sarah decides to make things better by inviting him over for dinner, only to tell him that he can’t be alone with her daughter. Since Elissa is a teenage girl, she naturally gets even more interested in Ryan, which leads to her discovery of what actually happened years ago.

I cannot believe the shitty reviews that I read for House at the End of the Street! I actually enjoyed it, especially compared to the crap that I’ve seen lately (The Possession, I’m looking at you!). It had one scene that actually made me jerk in my seat because I should have seen it coming, but I got a little too comfortable. There are also a few squirm-inducing scenes in the film.

One of those scenes comes when a character knocks over a lamp and lets the heat from the bulb burn through the restraints keeping her tied down. Watch closely, and you can actually see blisters forming on her skin around the bandages. Another comes when a guy gets his leg broken in a truly disgusting way. It won’t bother some viewers, but it definitely grossed out my ex-Marine boyfriend.

I have a girl crush on Lawrence, and my boyfriend has a crush on Shue, so this was a great movie for us. It had a nice mixture of creepiness and darkness that I really loved. I will most likely end up adding it to my collection in the near future.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Area 407 Movie Review

Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: April 27, 2012
Director: Dale Fabrigar, Everette Wallin

It’s New Year’s Eve and a bunch of random people are on a flight from New York City to Los Angeles. A little girl films everyone with her camera as she travels with her older sister. There’s also a professional photographer who seems inappropriately interested in the older sister, a belligerent drunk who hates everyone, and a quiet woman who is actually an air marshal.

Not long after celebrating the New Year, the plane crashes in the middle of nowhere. The little sister hands the camera over to her big sister, which is a mistake because that kid should not get as much screen time as she does. The crash survivors almost immediately divide into two groups. One group wants to build a fire and wait for help to arrive, while the other group wants to wander into the dense forest and look for help. Naturally, those who leave suddenly begin screaming in horror. One man manages to make it back to the group, but he won’t tell them what happened or what he saw.

As the group goes through the supplies, the photographer and the drunk get into a miniature fight. The drunk thinks that his head wound is worse than anyone else’s injuries, and he isn’t willing to sit down and shut up. Once everyone calms down, the flight attendant goes back into the plane to find blankets and food. When the drunk asks for a drink, she laughingly goes to get one before screaming. By the time they find her, she’s dead, and they are all on a fight for their lives.

I enjoyed Area a point. The little sister is such an annoying character that I literally winced every time she walked onscreen. You know how you sometimes watch a movie and you root for one character to die quickly? That’s how I feel about this chick. The older sister is not only a better actress but far less annoying, which makes it sad when she becomes the camera holder.

Area 407 lacks any real character development too. Did you notice how I keep referring to characters without using their names? Yeah, that’s because I never bothered to learn them. The annoying little sister stays the annoying little sister throughout the movie, and the asshole drunk remains the asshole drunk. It’s also funny that the little sister looks like a tween/early teen, but she skips and dances around like an eight-year-old.

It’s also missing the blood and gore that modern films have. When someone gets attacked, the camera immediately pans to a horrific look on one of the character’s faces without showing us exactly what happened. We also have to sit through a lot of screaming and scenes of the camera pointed at the ground as characters run away.

Still, the end of the movie makes it worth sitting through. We get a few glimpses at what happened to the travelers and why it happened, but Area 407 manages to keep the exact secret under wraps until the last few seconds.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Howling IV: The Original Nightmare Movie Review

Runtime: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: November 1988
Director: John Hough

Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is an author who admits that she gets her book ideas from visions and dreams that randomly come to her. After one particularly frightening vision, her friend and agent Tom (Antony Hamilton) comforts her in a way that friends shouldn’t. Richard (Michael T. Weiss, The Pretender), her husband, talks to her doctor and they decide that she needs to get away from the city for awhile. Cut to Richard renting a cabin for her.

Tom takes her on the drive to the cabin, which annoys Richard. The two men puff up their chests for a few moments before Marie asks him to stay and he slinks back to the city. Almost immediately, she begins noticing weird things around town. She starts having visions of a nun inside the cabin, the same nun she saw at the beginning of the film. She also hears wolves howling in the woods, and she meets an odd artist named Eleanor who seems to know her husband a little too well.

Before long, Marie meets Janice (Susanne Sevreid, Don’t Answer the Phone) who acts like a fan of her books. Janice later admits that she was a nun and that she’s investigating the disappearance of another nun who died after rambling about the original town where the new town now sits. When Marie learns that the woman is the same nun she has visions about, she realizes that something dark lurks in Drago.

I can’t remember the first time that I saw Howling IV, but I think it was when I was a kid. One of the rental stores had a 3-$1 special, and we used to rent dozens of horror movies. I watched it again a few years ago, and when I popped it into the DVD player, I was prepared to fall asleep at anytime. Instead, I discovered that it really isn’t as bad as I remembered.

Granted Howling IV isn’t going to win any big awards and it’s not even the best werewolf movie that I’ve seen lately, but it really isn’t that bad. The biggest complaint seems to come from people who complain that it doesn’t have enough werewolf scenes, but I can overlook that given its low budget. Plus, I get to see Weiss in a mullet.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Movie Review: Sound of My Voice

Runtime: 85 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: April 27, 2012
Director: Zal Batmanglij

Peter (Christopher Denham) is a teacher working on a project with his girlfriend Lorna (Nicole Vicius). The two heard about a cult that centers on a young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling) who claims that she is from the future, 2054 to be exact. When Sound of My Voice opens, the two have already made a connection with the group. The cult makes them take a shower and change their clothes before blindfolding them and taking them to Maggie.

Maggie tells her followers that the future is a bleak and dark place. She constantly tests them, claiming that they need to be strong to handle what’s coming. She has each member make themselves throw up after feeding them because people in the future have less food. Lorna quickly gets caught up in her story and begins believing that everything Maggie says is the truth, while Peter serves as the voice of reason.

Peter worries about his girlfriend and constantly pushes her with the truth. He points out that Maggie doesn’t give any specifics and cannot verify her claims. When Maggie pushes him about his own home life and his mother in particular, he caves and cries in her arms. He later snaps out of it, telling Lorna that Maggie did the same thing that all cult leaders do. Instead of making any specific claims, she simply asked him questions until she found which buttons to push.

Lorna finds herself on the opposite side when she goes for a hike with one of the cult members. The woman takes her into the middle of nowhere and pulls out a gun before showing her out to shoot. Just as Lorna begins doubting, Peter finds himself caught in Maggie’s trap. When she asks him to kidnap one of the children in his class, the film takes an even darker turn.

I saw a trailer for Sound of My Voice a few months ago and found it fascinating. I left myself a note in my phone to find it when it came out on DVD, but I completely missed it coming out until this week. I decided to add it to the blog because it has a darker theme that kind of fits in the world of horror.

The world of cults is interesting, and this film definitely shows the dark side of things. When one man begins questioning her, she immediately has him banned. His wife/girlfriend watches as he leaves and though he begs her to go with him, she just shakes her head and says that she believes in Maggie. It’s one of those movies that makes you think.

Why do these people believe in her? She tells them that she woke up naked in a bathtub filled with water and was thrown out on the street. One of her followers found her and knew she was from the future because she had an anchor and the number 54 tattooed on her ankle. After a few weeks, she “suddenly” remembered who she was.

The followers believe her no matter what. At one point, she proves that she’s from the future by singing a song from The Cranberries, and only one man has the guts to tell her that it’s a song from the past, which she explains away by saying that it was famous by another artist in her time. They even believe that she can only eat organic foods grown in the garage and that she cannot handle anytime outside because of the toxins in our air, despite the fact that she even admits to wandering the streets on her own after waking in the tub.

It’s hard to explain what makes Sound of My Voice so powerful. It ends on an ambiguous note, leaving it up to the viewer to decide what actually happened. If the proposed sequel comes along, I guess we will get answers to some of our questions.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines Movie Review

Runtime: 91 minutes
Rating: 5
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Director: Declan O’Brien

Wrong Turn 5 literally starts right after Wrong Turn 4 ends, which is a nice bit of continuity. One-Eye, Three-Finger, and Saw-Tooth reunite with their dad Maynard (Doug Bradley, Hellraiser). Apparently, this is supposed to be the same guy from the first two films in the franchise, but he looks nothing like him since this is an entirely new actor.

They make their way to Fairlake, West Virginia, which conveniently is getting ready for the annual Mountain Man Festival. Billy and his girlfriend Cruz start having sex in their tent when their friends interrupt them. While making breakfast, Billy promptly reveals that he brought massive amounts of drugs with them, right before driving away with the drugs in the car.

Maynard decides to basically throw himself in front of the car so he can snag some hot booty for his sons. They go back to check on him, but when he stabs one of the guys in the leg, they retaliate by kicking the crap out of him. Just before his boys jump out of the woods, the police arrive. Sheriff Angela Carter (Camilla Arfwedson) decides that the easy thing is to just arrest everyone and sort things out back at the station.

While loading the guys and girls (who by the way did nothing) handcuffed into her car, her deputy discovers Billy’s collection of drugs. This gives her more reason to haul them into the station. Once there, his friends gang up on him, and the sheriff reluctantly lets the others go free. When running Maynard’s fingerprints, she discovers that he is wanted in multiple states, and that pretty much leads to her keeping him locked up for the night.

Back at the accident scene, the deputy she left behind finds himself attacked by the mutant cannibals. The mutants then decide to head to the police station and get their daddy an early release…

As a fan of the first two Wrong Turn films, I never know what to expect from the franchise. The first film is a favorite, the second film was a great outlet for Henry Rollins, the third put me to sleep, and the fourth was entertaining. Wrong Turn 5 somehow manages to fall somewhere in the middle of the films.

I often talk about suspension of belief/disbelief in horror films, and this one takes the cake. The festival is somehow such a big deal that literally everyone leaves town for it. The sheriff sends all of her men to the festival except for the one left behind, which leads to her deputizes a bunch of random kids and a man that she literally locked up hours earlier for public intoxication. Even as our characters wander through town, they only encounter a few teenage boys making trouble and the sheriff’s husband. There’s a small town like this near here that has an even bigger festival every year, but the shops are still open and people still walk around because not everyone loves the festival.

Once you get past that though, this is actually a solid little film. The mutants don’t look as great as they did in the earlier films, but I can overlook that given the shrinking budget. The characters are all pretty one-dimensional, but most of them die off pretty quickly so that isn’t a problem.

Wrong Turn 5 also has the classic deaths that we want in these films. One (two actually) involves a man buried in the ground with only his head sticking out as a mutant rides a commercial lawn mower, and another occurs in a Saw-like trap involving a car. Then there’s the moment when Maynard decides to dispense with one character by cutting out her eyes with nothing but a letter opener.

Not everyone is going to like Wrong Turn 5, but if you were disappointed by the last few films, this one will make it all better. It has the appeal of the original with some modern twists.

388 Arletta Avenue

Runtime: 87 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Director: Randall Cole

James (Nick Stahl, Mirrors 2) and his wife Amy (Mia Kirshner, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days) lead a seemingly idyllic life. The only downside is that someone keeps filming them, and they have no idea about the stalker tracking their every movements. The man seems content to follow them from the street, filming the couple as they come and go from their house. One day, he sees them tuck the spare key in a hidden spot, and he uses the key to gain access and plant cameras around the house.

Nothing seems amiss until James climbs into his car and the music starts blaring. He pulls out a mixed CD from the dash, and realizes that it contains music he never heard before. He confronts his wife, thinking that she made it, but she completely denies it. Amy then convinces him that he probably made it years ago and forgot about it. She even shows him his music library, which contains the same songs. James thinks something is odd because he doesn’t even remember downloading those songs.

Despite his hinky feelings, James continues on with his life. When he comes home from work one night, he discovers a note left by Amy saying that she’s taking a break. He doesn’t think it’s her handwriting and calls her friends, but no one will listen to him, not even the police. Now that the stalker has complete access to his home, he starts playing a deadly game with the man.

I’m a little surprised by the horrid reviews that 388 Arletta Avenue got because this really isn’t a bad movie. The entire film lands on the shoulders of Stahl who proves that he can handle the movie. It does require a large suspension of belief though. Would you really have no idea that someone was sneaking into your house and filming you? I work from home, and I hear every noise in this house, including the neighbors hammering things in the wall. I can’t imagine someone walking around in my basement without anyone noticing.

On top of that, you have to believe that (a) he never notices a single camera in his house and (b) that the cops have no interest in his claims. The stalker hides a camera in his bedroom, giving it the perfect angle of his bed and yet he never notices it. Other cameras are scattered around the house, and he somehow never sees a thing. The cops meanwhile, aren’t even willing to take a missing person’s report on his wife, despite the fact that none of her friends or family have heard from her. In today’s world of Laci Peterson and the like, it seems pretty unbelievable.

When James finally takes matters into his own hand, you can actually believe that he would do something like that. He tracks down Bill (Devon Sawa, Final Destination), a man from his past who he thinks might have something to do with his wife’s disappearance. Unfortunately, he takes things a little too far in the end without any evidence or real reason to believe that the man has anything to do with what happened.

Granted 388 Arletta Avenue has some slow moments, especially in the middle, but I’m surprised it didn’t get a wider release. Maybe the off-screen antics of Stahl have something to do with it, or maybe it’s just the fact that American audiences in particular don’t seem to have much love for the horror or quasai-horror genre anymore.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mortuary Movie Review

Runtime: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: March 25, 2006
Director: Tobe Hooper

Leslie Doyle (Denise Crosby, Dolly Dearest) decides to move her two children to a remote house after the death of her husband. The old house was the mortuary in town, and she wants to start fresh and reopen the old building. Jamie (Stephanie Patton) is a little too young to really care, but Jonathon (Dan Byrd, The Hills Have Eyes) isn’t too happy with the change.

Jonathon heads off to the local diner to pick up dinner, and he runs into a local loser who somehow manages to have two girlfriends. The guy tells him the legend of Bobby Fowler who once lived in his house, and how Bobby was abused and horribly deformed. Rita, the owner of the diner, interrupts, telling them that Bobby never died, and she knows because she sometimes sees him scrounging for food out back. Jonathon doesn’t really pay attention because he’s too busy crushing on Rita’s niece Liz.

Cal and his girlfriends head into the cemetery near the mortuary and start fooling around when Bobby wanders out. It turns out that Bobby is actually infected by some weird disease and he passes it on to the teens. The teens disappear for a few days, which leads to the sheriff looking for them. They naturally start spreading the infection to others in town, including Leslie, leaving Jonathon and his friends as the only ones who can stop it.

Mortuary is easily one of the best Tobe Hooper films out there, regardless of what some might say. I saw it for the first time years ago, watching it on YouTube, and I recently bought a set that had it included with 7-9 other films. While those pretty much suck, this one is aces.

Lee Garlington who plays Rita is worth the watch all by herself. After one of the infected teenagers vomits on her, she flashes back to the 1960s and 1970s when she was a crazy drug user. She even manages to add humor when she’s not onscreen, shouting in the background about seeing colors. I also have a minor crush on Dan Byrd, which was once creepy, but now less so given that he’s of legal age.

Mortuary is an interesting film because it mixes horror and comedy without going too far in the comedic direction. The humor is definitely there, but it’s a little blacker than some might expect. I’m personally a big fan of the movie and even though I disliked most of the other movies in the set, I’ll definitely hold onto it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Movie Review: The Possession

Runtime: 92 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Director: Ole Bornedal

An older woman is sitting at home and trying to find a way to open an old wooden box. The woman tries to break it open, but something grabs her and tosses her around the room. Her son suddenly arrives and starts banging on the door, but she remains passed out on the floor.

Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Supernatural) recently went through a divorce with his wife Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer). It apparently didn’t slow her down any because she’s already dating a dentist named Brett (the yummy Grant Show, Melrose Place) who makes breakfast for them and hangs around a lot. Clyde takes his daughters Hannah and Em for the weekend and shows them his new house. Em seems a little upset because it means her parents aren’t getting back together.

On the way home, Hannah makes her dad stop at a yard sale because he needs dishes and silverware. Em finds herself drawn to an old wooden box with weird inscriptions on the sides, and Clyde buys it for her. When she wants to open it later, he can’t find a way to get the lid off. Later, the box mysteriously comes open, and she finds a dead moth, a tooth, and a ring, which she puts on her own finger.

Clyde tells the girls that he saw raccoons on the front porch. A few days later, they come home and find something in the kitchen. The thing rushes out the doggy door, and Clyde assumes it was an animal because he finds the refrigerator open and food all over the floor. Em begins developing an attachment to the box, even taking it to school with her and getting into a fight with another child. Just as Clyde starts thinking that there might be something more to the box, Stephanie begins doubting his role in their lives.

What can you say about a movie where a man’s teeth actually begin falling out of his head? That scene alone made the movie. The other scene that got to me was when the little girl was standing in front of the bathroom mirror staring at something in her throat. As she held a flashlight in her hand, she saw fingers coming up her throat. Granted the trailer showed that scene frequently, but it still got to me.

It’s funny because when I left the theater after seeing The Possession, I didn’t think it was very good. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I actually enjoyed it. I do have to admit that I have a crush on Morgan, but he’s looking a little rough here, which gave me the chance to stare at Grant Show. I can definitely see myself watching this again when it lands on DVD.

Movie Review: Paranormal Entity

Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Director: Shane Van Dyke

Paranormal Entity opens with a warning, letting the viewers know that a young man named Thomas raped and murdered his sister and another woman before jumping into the film.

Ellen (Fia Perera) lives in her home with her daughter Samantha (Erin Marie Hogan) and her son Thomas (Shane Van Dyke). The family lost their husband/father the year before, and Ellen started talking to him after his death. After a chance encounter at a “weird store,” a woman tells her that she can contact the dead by writing letters. Ellen begins writing letters to her dead husband, which leads to a haunting in the house.

Thomas starts recording the family early on, hoping to capture evidence of the haunting. As the film progresses, Thomas starts capturing some odd footage of his mother seemingly contacting something from beyond. Once the ghost starts attacking Samantha, the family realizes that the creature haunting them is not their dead father.

Paranormal Entity is one of those films that I passed dozens of times at the video store (yes, we still have one or two of those left in these parts). When I saw it pop up on Netflix, I added it to my queue, thinking that it was one of those movies I would never get around to watching. Then, I bought a random set of horror films from Walmart and decided to watch all of those movies in a row, which included this one. Is it wrong that I want my 50 cents back?

This film calls itself an homage to Paranormal Activity, but it’s just a pure rip-off. When Thomas decides to investigate things in the attic, I kept waiting for him to come across burned/destroyed photographs. Despite that, it does have one or two good moments.

One of the best scenes comes when Ellen wanders downstairs in the middle of the night, sits down at the coffee table, and starts writing. The vacant look on her face and the dark lighting definitely ups the creepy factor. Unfortunately, most of the movie feels like something I’ve already seen before.