Over the long weekend I watched a number of films. Two of them were thematically similar, so here’s a pair of mini reviews for them.
First up was 8213: Gacy House, a “found footage” film where a group of “ghost hunters” investigates the former home of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The film looks like an episode of Ghost Hunters or Most Haunted. It’s all filmed with either hand cameras or stationary cameras positioned around the house.
The film has scary moments, though most come in the last thirty minutes or so. Most of the movie is spent with the main characters arguing about whether or not to leave after capturing a number of incidents on camera, none of which are conclusive. Probably the most frightening moment comes when the thermal outline of a heavyset man is seen at the end of a hall where no one appears to be standing. The outline then comes at the person holding the thermal imager and they are, of course, killed.
While not a great movie, there are enough subtle scares to make this one worth watching.
Our second mini-review is for Paranormal Entity. This “mockbuster” is clearly based on Paranormal Activity, but shouldn’t be dismissed as a second-hand knock-off. Unlike most mockbusters, this movie has a good plot, good effects, and good acting. Perhaps that’s because it’s another “found footage” film and the actors are more or less behaving as normal people and not taking on roles.
The movie has a total of four characters, the family – mom, brother and sister, and a psychic who they call in for help at the very end of the film. The family has been experiencing strange phenomenon and so the brother sets up cameras around the house and begins carrying a camera everywhere to document what’s going on. It soon becomes clear that the haunting centers mostly around the sister, 19 year old Samantha, though the mother, Ellen, is also involved. The brother, Thomas, is mostly left unscathed.
The entity’s attacks become more and more vicious and it becomes able to possess both Ellen and Samantha at times. In one of the scarier scenes, Thomas hear’s Samantha screaming and goes to look for her, only to find that she’s not in her room. He searches the house, even outside, but can’t find her. Then as he heads back to his room he sees the attic access open. He climbs the ladder, looks around and eventually finds her standing in the attic, her back to him, her eyes glazed and unfixed. It’s very unnerving the way she seems to just appear there in front of him.
Eventually the psychic arrives to help them, but moments later we see the man lying on his side, blood tricking from his ear and nose. Samantha is screaming and Thomas runs to her, the house a wreck, and finds her levitating beside her bed, naked, bloody and being raped by the entity. The camera drops and we hear screams, then thumps, and then someone or something picks up the camera and focuses it on Samantha’s dead eyes.
It’s a very creepy movie, though there are a couple of plot holes, but they can be forgiven. Also, the sister is hot, so that helps. In any case, this is another film worth watching.