13 January 2007 | slayrrr666
Brilliant when it's on, decent when it's not
"The Entity" is an incredibly slow but brutal film.
After getting ready for bed, Carla Moran, (Barbara Herschey) finds herself being raped by an invisible presence, and her children, Billy, (David Labiosa) Julie, (Natasha Ryan) and Kim, (Melanie Gaffin) immediately rush to her aide but find nothing. As the incidents continue, she has trouble convincing others that it happened and begins to threaten her professional and personal relationships. Finally forced to turn to Phil Sneiderman, (Ron Silver) a psychiatrist, to help alleviate the problem but the attacks continue. Desperate the solve the situation and getting no help from the psychological community, who think she's inventing problems for attention, and when finally forced into believing the incredible story, a pair of parapsychologists come to help her get rid of it.
The Good News: Quite simply, this type of film lives or dies by the brutality of it's rape scenes, and this one doesn't disappoint. The rape scenes in here are extremely uncomfortable, disturbing and not at all that pleasant an experience, but considering the subject matter, they're not that exploitative and are really a necessity. Had this held back it's rapes, then it wouldn't be that great or remembered that fondly, and that it held them up is a great touch. The first one is one of the best, coming out of nowhere and really not coming across all that clearly, not really suggesting a supernatural existence is behind them at all and really playing itself quite straight. The highlight one is the bathroom rape, which is insanely creepy, really disturbing and really comes across as the showcase one. The moment the door slowly shuts on it's own and the windows lock themselves, the set-up is complete and the anticipation starts, and then it just becomes a matter of time until it starts, and it doesn't loose any power when it does occur. It's just got the benefit of a strong suspense scene before it to help it along. The really close scene to this is a really surreal one in the bedroom, where it appears that the victim is fondled by an invisible entity, and the effect comes across really well. It's a little shocking to see a scene like that, especially considering what's happening. Had any of these not been as powerful or creepy as they are, this really wouldn't have worked as well, so to have them like that is a definite plus. The only other scene that really comes close to them is the one sequence where the forces at work launch an assault on the victim inside an apartment house, with exploding furniture and windows bursting with no warning or explanation given to them, and happening quite suddenly. It makes for a series of continuous jump scenes that never fails to rattle and get the nerves going. This really wasn't that bad.
The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here, but what's here is a huge detriment. The most obvious hindrance is obviously the raping and exploitation angle. The film isn't really exploitative, but the fact that the subject matter deals with the issue, and repeatedly and violently at that, won't be an easy obstacle for some to overcome. After the third or fourth encounter, that might be enough for some to give up on the film and won't want to finish the film due to the confrontational subject matter, and that's a very real problem. It's not that the film itself is exploitative, but just the subject matter itself. That might also be what keeps those who don't wish to even go near a film with that kind of subjects from getting near it, so there is a side-effect, but the film is still a really strict affair. The film's other big problem is the languid and horrible pacing. The middle section especially, which is an endless series of medical examinations and conferences that repeat the same thing over and over again for no real purpose simply make it so. There's hardly any scene in the middle that plays necessary as is, and really could've been trimmed, since this is a way too long film as it is. There's no reason why the film is so long except for the slow middle section, which also grates on the nerves for the endless and unnecessary banter about whether or not the events that had transpired where real or not. It gets old and just drags the film out. Not all that great a point. The film also has a really underwhelming ending that really only provokes annoyance rather than a satisfying conclusion. Other than these, this wasn't all that bad.
The Final Verdict: While not an easy film to finish, it sure does what so many don't attempt to do, and that is to deliver a series of shocks. It's powerful and not really for the squeamish, so those who are far more attuned to the exploitative side of horror will have an easier time with this one, even though it'll certainly be enjoyed by others.
Rated R: Continuous Rapes, Full Nudity, Violence and some Language