August 1, 2016 The Entity (Movie Review)
Not to be compared to the 1982 cult film The Entity, 2016’s foreign Horror film The Entity (La Entidad) is a Found Footage film. Based on a story by Eduardo Schuldt, The Entity was co-written, co-produced, and directed by Peruvian Eduardo Schuldt (The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer 2009) along with collaborations from Aman Kumar Kapur and Sandro Ventura. Official selections at Film4 FrightFest and Sitges Int’l Fantastic Film Festival, The Entity reaches the US market via Film Movement/Omnibus Entertainment in 2016 on DVD as well as streaming.
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles, The Entity revolves around four film students: Carla (Daniella Mendoza in her first feature), her ex Joshua (Rodrigo Falla in his first feature), and their friends, Lucas (Carlos Casella: Juan y Eva 2011, Death in Buenos Aires 2014) and Benjamin (Mario Gaviria in his first feature) decide to do a Documentary on Reaction videos when they come across a video featuring a student they knew.
Compared to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, which is considered the first Found Footage film, The Entity hits most of the same beats with the film; students doing a project based on an old urban legend or wives tale, but instead of the setting being a forest, the place in question is an old Peruvian cemetery, Lucas’ room, Carla’s room, and Lucas’ friend Isabel’s (Analu Polanco in her first feature) room. There are two kinds of camera techniques used for ambiance throughout the film, with and without a filter. With the filter, the colors are muted, which is what most Horror movies, in general, do. When the students get their hands on a 3-D camera, the filter comes off and everything is saturated. This camera is mostly held by Benjamin.
For mainly being first-time actors and actresses, the acting was pretty good as if Schuldt turned the camera on just to let the characters play out. For instance, when Benjamin and Joshua see Lucas in the video, their reaction is like they did not see it coming. With their fear, comes the frenetic line delivery, which might be an issue with the subtitles. The film was shot on location in Peru in day and night time, which played well to not fall into the trope that fear only has to be relegated to dark and/or night. Furthermore, audiences get to see a bit of Peruvian society as far as classroom setting and architecture.
With a foreign film, no matter the genre, comes subtitles to translate the language, which tells a Ju-On-like backstory. Some come faster than others. This might be a game breaker for some audiences; however, the subtitles do not necessarily have to be read to get the gist of the film. The Entity has a running time of 80 minutes that seems more like a long short. Still, the film has a set-up, which is kind of clunky, but gains its footing with the requisite choppy editing that comes with the genre, and sticks the landing with a twist that could be a “give me,” but there is a little more that finishes this dark story. The special effects are practical, and are not anything not seen in other Horror films. Ultimately, aside from similarities to the aforementioned films, The Entity is an interesting take on a supernatural revenge story through the eyes of the Peruvian tales. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives The Entity 4 stars of 5.