Paranormal Xperience 3D Movie Review
Written by Simon Bland
DVD released by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Directed by Sergi Vizcaino
Written by Daniel Padro
2011, 86 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on February 24th 2014
Amaia Salamanca as Ángela
Maxi Inglesias as José
Lucho Fernandéz as Carlos
Úrsula Corberó as Belén
Paranormal Xperience 3D is a spanish language slasher served up by a portion of the same team who brought us ace foreign chillers The Orphanage and Julia’s Eyes. Name dropping those last two films would lead you to believe you’re in safe hands and to an extent, you’d be right. However there’s a crucial missing ingredient that makes all the difference. Both those movies were crafted under the watchful gaze of Guillermo del Toro and while they weren’t without their faults, they came complete with a certain built-in quality assurance. For whatever reason, Pan’s Labyrinth director del Toro decided to sit this one out and it shows, transforming a would-be compelling supernatural thriller into a bit of a ten-a-penny horror affair...
...but not right away. In fact, Paranormal Xperience 3D starts off with an intriguing confidence as director Sergi Vizcaino introduces five young medical students during a tense, sadistic experiment. As we watch this squabbling quintet struggle with a blood-spilling mind game, ideas of substance - despite the film’s in-your-face promo materials - start to emerge. Maybe del Toro’s presence wasn’t as necessary as we once thought? Contrary to its polished cover-art and eye-popping 3D, could this be a smarty pants horror we see before us? Questions are quickly answered.
We follow the same medical students-turned-paranormal-investigators as they head out to inspect an abandoned mining town that’s believed to be haunted by a mad doctor. Sounds a bit Scooby Doo, right? You wouldn’t be far wrong. Before you can say ‘jinkies’ the gang have split up in search of clues to put an end to this mystery once and for all. However there’s no Old Man Withers behind these bloody hauntings and as the masked doctor starts slashing, a connection emerges between the big baddie and two damaged sisters in the group. Zoinks!
After a tense opening sequence, Paranormal Xperience 3D settles into its groove as a rather run of the mill slasher akin to Adam Green’s Hatchet movies with added foreign language flair. Despite ditching that del Toro intrigue, director Vizcaino does a solid job of crafting a fun debut with bags of blood and gore, all the while amping things up to suit the film’s 3D capabilities. It’s a strong first feature for Vizcaino with sure-fire franchise, or even US adaptation potential if it proves popular enough. And if it doesn’t? Well, the team can blame it on us meddling kids.