It is 2010 and in the stark Siberian forest a small film crew trudge through the harsh Russian landscape in search of the site where 12 years earlier thirty four bodies were found in shallow graves. Their identities were never discovered and their deaths remain unexplained.
Working on a British paranormal TV show entitled ‘The Darkest Secrets’ the group of five includes the show’s cameraman, sound guy, presenter and a powerful psychic Ruth Peacock (Goodnight Sweetheart’s Dervla Kirwan) and their Russian guide Yuri (Branko Tomovic) who has brought them to this barren and tragic place.
At the site of the graves Ruth has an intense and disturbing vision which leads the gang to a strange and foreboding facility, the purpose of which is unclear to them all.
Once inside though, they all start to experience unnatural and unexplainable events that push them to the limits of their sanity and safety, unlocking the secrets of the past and forever damning them to a future full of fear.
Not to be confused by the utterly brilliant 80’s ghost movie The Entity this low budget British horror written and directed by first time movie maker Steve Stone may seem from its plotline to be ‘just another found footage failure’, cashing in on a new but now tired horror trend. But just like the ghostly entity that the TV crew encounter, there is much more to this film than it first seems.
With a great cast, ample scares and an extremely atmospheric and spooky setting, Entity is far above many other horrors found in the faux documentary genre, making the most of what it’s got and delivering a gripping story and plenty of frights.
Although evoking such classics in the genre as Blair Witch and REC by using the fake TV show as a jumping point into the story and the characters, the film quickly discards the direct audience address shots and wobbly camera work in exchange for a more conventional format. Soon you become so absorbed in the plot and characters that you forget all about the opening found footage premise.
Drenching the screen with greys and blues, Stone uses his unsettling setting to optimum effect, intensifying the tension with a great use of sound, making the viewer feel as trapped and terrified as the characters who are wandering through the warped and weird facility in search of a meaning for it all.
With the minimal special effects used wisely and well, Entity carefully and craftily creates a genuinely creepy atmosphere that keeps you on edge throughout the film – through all the terror filled trials and tribulations the ill-fated five are forced into till its final pay off.
A great ghost story well told and well-made, Entity is a harrowing British horror that works well on all its frightening fronts. It serves as a great calling card for Steve Stone and I for one can’t wait to see what he does next.