With the success of the ultra-low-budget ghost flick, Paranormal Activity (US-2007; dir. Oren Peli), it’s perhaps only to be expected that others would attempt to leap on the bandwagon. Infamous bandwagon leapers, The Asylum — known for producing cheap “spin-offs” of blockbuster films, so how could they possibly resist a cheap spin-off of an already cheap blockbuster — have announced the imminent 22 December release of Paranormal Entity on DVD.
Looking like a cross between Paranormal Activity and the Spanish found-footage zombiesque flick [Rec] (France-2007; dir. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza), Paranormal Entity is being presented as genuine footage of a murder — a murder that was, in “reality”, the result of a supernatural incursion:
Actual footage of the events leading to the 2008 “murder” of Samantha Finley. This DVD, released against the wishes of the authorities, proves that nothing human caused Samantha’s death.
On The Asylum’s blog, the pseudo-reality backstory is being maintained — on the off-chance that there are those out there who never realised that The Blair Witch Project was a fake. They’ve even gone so far as to avoid listing credits for director, writer and actors on the website. That’s okay. The whole [for me, largely unwatchable] found-footage schtick has become a subgenre unto itself and in many ways whether we believe it or not is irrelevant. To pretend that it’s all real is just part of the subgenre’s aesthetic — and sometimes this results in the creation of advertising collateral that is more interesting than the film itself. Will that happen here? Who knows?
There’s been some comment on the internet about our release called Paranormal Entity and why is hasn’t been posted on our website until now.
This has been a sensitive issue for all of us:
A few weeks ago we were approached by surviving members of the Finley family who asked us to release never-before-seen home video footage shot by Thomas Finley, who was accused of murdering his sister, Samantha in 2008, and who later took his own life in prison.
The family has always maintained that Thom was innocent of the crime and that Samantha’s tragic death was not caused by anything human. (Asylum blog)
Addendum: The Trailer: