DIRECTOR Sergi Vizcaino WRITER Daniel Padró STARS Amaia Salamanca; Maxi Iglesias; Luis Fernández DVD & BLU-RAY 24 February
Initial probings into this film do not promise great things. Firstly, that terrible title is no typing error; depressingly they’ve even shortened it to PX3D on the credits. Secondly, any film that advertises its 3D upfront is generally relying on that gimmick over important issues such as script or performance. Finally, the cover and disc menu insist on showing the killer in his full glory, completely destroying the shock reveal. Can’t there be any mystery or surprise left in cinema these days? So it was with some trepidation that your humble Exquisite Terror writer began viewing, envisaging yet another dreaded found-footage entry.
Pleasingly, there’s no shaking camcorder footage on offer here. Paranormal Xperience is a well-shot and atmospheric film, sporting good production values and some decent, if obvious, 3D effects — plenty of blood and sharp objects are thrown at the screen — and some nice gore set-pieces which, let’s be honest, are a must if this sort of thing is going to work. That, however, is about as good as it gets. This is a formulaic, by-the-numbers body-count film filled with good-looking teens and designed to make you squirm and flinch in equal measure. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t be fooled into thinking this Spanish slasher is anything more; it follows a very well-worn path.
This being the slasher genre, there are plenty of clichés on offer: excuses to split up are formed, vehicles develop mysterious engine problems and people fall over while running away — although director Sergi Vizcaino gets some mileage out of the dark tunnels and his effective mad doctor, who wears a cracked Phantom of the Opera style mask and favours a meathook for his butchery. The cast, however, are throwaway, looking as if they’ve been transported in from a Spanish version of Hollyoaks, although to be fair the script doesn’t give them much room to flex potential acting muscles, aside from screaming and dying. But then, you wouldn’t really expect much more; Paranormal Xperience is exactly what you’re expecting it to be, and at a short 80 minutes it’s not around long enough to bore. One can imagine the 3D version going down a treat with a young audience on a Friday night, which is exactly the target crowd Vizcaino was aiming for.