Paranormal Activity was so successful for me because when I saw it, I knew nothing about it. In fact, I’d seen a trailer for a film called The Fourth Kind and had thought Paranormal Activity was actually that film. So, when I watched it, yes, I knew it wasn’t real, but the simple ideas and wonderful acting left me scared and intrigued. The first Paranormal Activity film stayed in my head for weeks. The scene of Kate being dragged away by an unseen entity freaked me out. Shot on consumer grade camcorders, I find most found footage movies to be redundant. But Paranormal Activity learned from its predecessors and offers a scary ride. Where The Blair Witch shot itself in the foot by making a sequel that openly laughed at the first movie, the Paranormal Activity series has stuck with its winning formula, sometimes getting it wrong but always keeping the storyline consistent.
Nowadays any successful movie franchise will get parodies, rip-offs, and copies. The Asylum is a low budget production company that seems to be in the business of making low budget versions of blockbusters (nicknamed mockbusters), changing the titles slightly so that someone might buy one of their movies by mistake, or want to watch something that is badly made just for its laughability factor. Enter Paranormal Entity.
The first Paranormal Entity is a complete rip-off of Paranormal Activity. Of course it is, and I expected this. The acting is absolutely awful. The acting is like porn acting, but without the porn. The bangs and scares are dull, and the ending is ridiculous. I doubt anyone could have been scared during this movie, but it was funny for its wooden acting and silly effects.
Now where the first movie is bad, the second movie is atrociously vile. Originally titled ‘8213 Gacy House’, Paranormal Entity 2 follows a group of paranormal investigators as they try to locate the ghost of child killer John Wayne Gacy. There are many reasons why this film is awful, most notably because, unlike other similar films, it uses a real killer in its storyline and not treading carefully about a sensitive subject concerning a real life monster manages to be insulting and offensive. Firstly, the awful flaws in this movie are as follows: The house they are searching is a new build as Gacy’s original house of horrors was torn down. That hasn’t put them off, because they’re going to search the ‘new build’ house anyway, because it has been built on the spot where Gacy’s house once had stood. This sounds stupid even when they announce this fact. The real Gacy died in prison and not in his house, which wouldn’t matter anyway because his house isn’t there. So they are looking for the ghost of a man who didn’t die in the place they are searching which is a place which isn’t where the crimes happened anyway. Nonsense. But, let’s excuse this nonsense. It’s a horror movie after all, and when did low budget horror worry about the details? I hoped this film wouldn’t go too deep into John W Gacy monstrous past, or if it did then perhaps it would handle it with some sensitivity or at least stay true to the facts.
Turning up with a child’s shirt to lure out the ghost of child killer John Wayne Gacy is ludicrous and disgusting. How I kept watching till the end, I do not know. Anyway by the end of the movie, with some awful special effects and a woman’s tits thrown in for no real reason, the film closes the faint image of a clowns face approaching the camera as Gacy used to dress up as a clown. Juvenile and awful.
The third film began and left me slapping my face. Could it be this bad? I mean seriously. Remember The Exorcism of Emily Rose? I didn’t like it, but it tried hard to be sincere to what was allegedly a true story. Now in comes Paranormal Entity 3, another film which didn’t have PE3 as its title, but was quickly changed it to cash in. ‘Paranormal Entity 3: The Exorcist Tapes’. I really don’t know where to start. Okay. Set in Germany, the film pretends to be based on the real life exorcism of Anneliese Michel. It’s bad for many reasons. One, because when the true events happened in 1976, digital cameras or small handheld cameras had not even been invented yet. With stuck on beards, Germans who speak in English with poor German accents and a girl of forty pretending to possessed. Awful, but if you’re drunk or having a stag party, it may be worth having a laugh at. Although there are far better movies out there than this to laugh along with, especially when really, this does nothing but mock a girl who actually died.
I was hoping that by the time I got to the last film, I’d discover that they had saved the best until last. Of course I was wrong. Another film with a changed title. This one being ‘100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck‘.
Here we have the final film. Like the second this one is based around a real life serial killer who raped and killed nurses. Vile and cheap, the film alters the history of the killer’s crimes to suit its needs. Personally I don’t like films about serials killers, but if you’re going to make one and can’t do it with some sensitivity, then at least do it with some meaning or facts. The movie itself, there really isn’t much different from the second entry. Boring and juvenile, this is the last Asylum film I buy. But good for them, as they seem to make money off of their films. They made sixteen pounds off me for this box set when really I should have left it well alone.
Stupid and insulting to the victims’ families, I don’t recommend these films and won’t be purchasing the next one if and when it comes out.