Don’t you just love the audacity of Asylum films? The way they wait for a blockbuster to be released and then blatantly go about producing their own version for about $10! For those of you who haven’t yet guessed – this is a film based on the Paranormal Activity storyline. The budget is low, the actors were found at local Shakespeare productions and the camera’s are probably second hand………but that’s not to say it’s a bad film!
Yeah the guys are pretty much off their heads when it comes to ripping off Hollywood blockbusters. They usually end up showcasing their efforts on late night Science Fiction channels.
I love the way they slightly change the title to try and entice people into watching the film – I’m pretty sure some people even make the mistake of thinking these films are the originals!
At the end of the day if you enjoy Found Footage then a film based on the Paranormal Activity storyline will have something to offer you – no matter how bad it is!
It starts off with the recording of a 911 phone call with a boy screaming “it killed my sister, it killed my sister!”. So like most Found Footage horrors we know the ending of the film before we even start!
When the filming starts I was a little relieved as the camera quality was half decent – no sign of a $100 camcorder here thank god! We begin in a kitchen area with a mum, sister and brother ( who spends most of the film behind the camera lens ) talking about the strange goings on in their house!
We are reliably informed by the mother that they have been asked by a psychic to document any strangeness in the night! Yeah, the Paranormal Activity storyline had a lot more bite than this but that was probably always going to be the case!
Strange Things Happening!
Another aspect the Paranormal Activity storyline had to rely on was rather decent stunt effects………these were slightly lacking here! Instead of household members being dragged out of bed by invisible forces we had……….a phone ringing in the middle of the night ( the horror! ).
So we need an explanation to the strange activities ( or crank callers ) going on in the house. This is explained by the mother who speaks to the camera in a documentary-style and explains her husband died about a year back. She had started to make psychic contact with him after his death but eventually found out she was communicating with something else!
All through this introduction section to the film the acting is of a decent quality – especially by Found Footage standards!
Scary? Not Quite!
The Paranormal Activity storyline left plenty of room and opportunity to scare people – that’s what makes it work! Unfortunately this film did not always succeed in scaring me and in some parts it even got a giggle out of me.
For example – a cross being knocked off the bedroom wall above a sleeping girl’s bed is not the most original idea in the world! Then we have the brother walking through the house at night looking for the sister ( you’d think he’d turn the lights on wouldn’t you? ). He finally finds her in the attic staring into space then……..well that’s about it really – she returns to bed!
They did manage to get some creepy ideas in there though so don’t worry! For example the Paranormal Activity storyline used footprints to good effect and this attempt was very similar. This time we got treated to footprints on the ceiling which they are carefully following behind the camera ( again in the dark! ).
I also liked the scene when his sister’s voice was calling to him around the house after she and the mother had just left. This scene was filmed in the daytime and that seemed to give it an extra edge or bite!
If you LOVED the Paranormal Activity storyline then you may LIKE this. It’s not the most memorable of Found Footage efforts but it does tick all the boxes in that genre. It has had some terrible reviews online and to be honest – I can see why!
But Found Footage is a genre that does not need CGI effects or expensive stunts to work! By simply having a mother sleepwalking in the middle of the night and then writing stuff she cannot remember you are giving the audience what they want.
Most of the Asylum films are terrible – but they seem to manage the Found Footage genre reasonably well! You have to enjoy Found Footage horror before you will have any luck with this film. If you were not impressed with the Paranormal Activity storyline then you will HATE this effort.
If you are prepared to think outside the box and give this low budget horror flick a chance you may well enjoy it – it’s not terrible, it’s just average!