Rodrigo Falla as Joshua
Daniella Mendoza as Carla
Carlos Casella as Lucas
Mario Gaviria as Benjamin
For all the promise La Entidad has, it inevitably tears loose at the seams, spilling all hope of something special in a scattered, hopeless mess. There is no ingenuity, there are no courageous maneuvers to respect.
Heading into The Entity, also known as La Entidad, high hope rested on tired shoulders. Amazing found footage films aren’t necessarily easy to come by. Make no mistake, we see subgenre efforts hit the market at an alarming rate, and every now and then one truly blows the mind (here’s looking at you, Creep), but the bulk of this brand of business typically underwhelms. Despite the fact that some filmmakers seem to believe found footage is the “easiest” format of genre pic to make, the serious success stories are few and far between. As it turns out, found footage isn’teasy at all. Filmmakers are forced to make the audience believe that there’s a chance the picture we’re watching could be real. That means there’s a necessity for plausibility, stellar performances and captivating but controlled visuals. It also means that an assortment of movie tricks applied to standard fare are going to be brushed from the table. These films have to be intense, shocking and relatable. They have to be – to some extent – rooted in a reality that the audience can buy into. Unfortunately Eduardo Schuldt’s new flick fails to make those things happen.
Make no mistake, there’s spirit in this picture. There’s no obvious lack of effort on Schuldt’s part, and there’s no obvious lack of effort on the part of those placed in front of the camera. Everyone on board gives it their all, but a sketchy script and a concept that comes across as both too far out there and far too familiar thwart the movie’s bid at excelling, reaching admirable heights. And the truth is, seeing the passion that this group of young performers puts forth really makes the viewerwant to enjoy the flick. These guys dump everything they’ve got into the project, but it just sputters and falls too flat to deem impressive.
Speaking of the performers, we’ve got to issue some major kudos to more than a single participant. Mario Gaviria, who plays the borderline insufferable Benjamin, is loaded with confidence and charisma. He sells it extremely well, and Benjamin emerges as one of the truest highlights of the feature. Seeing Gaviria in the future is something to look forward to, and he deserves his props for slaying an animated personality. The man gets an easy A-plus from BHM. Rodrigo Falla also impresses as Joshua, an uncertain fellow with a desire to be a leader, but a deficiency of the goods required to do so. There’s sympathy in this character and that’s going to go a long way with viewers. And finally, Analú Polanco, whose character Carla finds herself lost in the fold, as she isn’t a major player, does an excellent job as the out-of-reach girl that Benjamin’s been chasing for too long to remember. She’s spunky and spirited and it’s a damn shame to see her so underutilized. The woman deserved better.
Now, positives dished out, it’s back to the negatives. Scratch that, before we leap all the way in and pick the film apart, you deserve to know what the movie is actually about: it’s about a group of film students who plan to make a documentary for their final project. The idea to study and compile a picture based on “reaction videos” (those are the vids you see of people losing their mind while watching other extreme videos) is brought to the table and Joshua, Benjamin, Lucas and Carla get to work on generating a cohesive and entertaining piece of film. But it doesn’t take long before they spot a reaction video that features someone Carla knows, which immediately throws something of a curveball in the design of their assignment. They find themselves soon tracking down those seen in the video – only to discover that they’re all now deceased, the mystery only working to propel the group into a deeper investigation. It isn’t too long before we find our protagonists wandering about a graveyard where a seldom seen supernatural villain begins claiming lives.
It’s an elementary idea, and while there’s a twist in store for viewers, we can see it coming a mile off. It’s not much of a surprise and it doesn’t add too much in the way of shock value or overall entertainment value to the film. What’s worse is the lazy and unbelievably cliché camera work we’re expected to tolerate. These are four film students, yet they apparently have absolutely no idea what the hell to do when the camera rolls. We get countless chase scenes in which everyone screams obnoxiously at the top of their lungs (this is an astoundingly large problem with the flick that grates on the nerves for what feels like an eternity!), tons of too-shaky-to-see-what’s-happening moments and a picture so dark it’s hard to make out any single detail. We very rarely see the monster responsible for the mayhem, which is interesting considering the fact that – if these guys really wanted to make a compelling documentary, the monster itself would be the sure fire homerun they’re after. You’d think they’d be eager to capture the entity on film as much as humanly possible. They don’t do that. There are a few sequences in which we see the story’s focal players possessed by the entity, and while those shots are fairly entertaining, they’re not deeply gratifying as we’ve seen that done countless times in countless similar themed features.
For all the promise La Entidad has, it inevitably tears loose at the seams, spilling all hope of something special in a scattered, hopeless mess. There is no ingenuity, there are no courageous maneuvers to respect. What we have are a number of strong showings from an unfamiliar cast who have little more than a subpar story to tell. As much as I respect the players involved for their hard work, the impressive performances just aren’t enough to elevate the film above the typical middling found footage we often see hit the market.