Paranormal Xperience 3D, 2011.
Directed by Segi Vizaino.
Starring Amaia Salamanca, Maxi Iglesias, Lucho Fernandez, Ursula Corbero, Oscar Sinela, Alba Ribas and Manuel de Blas.
In 2011, five Medical students investigated an abandoned mining town in search of paranormal evidence… They found them.
The 3D bandwagon has been jumped upon many times in recent years, since James Cameron re-popularized the technology with Avatar. Horror has been one genre that has often incorporated the technology, not always for the benefit of the narrative. Paranormal Xperience 3D (because 3D often must become part of the title of many 3D films) is a Spanish film hoping to compete with the gimmicky best that Hollywood has to offer.
A group of medical students are (for some reason) given the task of investigating some mines which have become known as a paranormal hotspot. It’s the old stomping ground, and eventual tomb of a notorious serial killer called Dr Martaga (Manual de Blas). Martaga is essentially a Freddie Kruger figure, which many an iconic horror film needs. Whether it’s Jigsaw, Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, or whoever, films like this are only as good as the villain of the piece. Sisters, Angela (Amaia Salamanca) and Diana (Alba Ribas) harbour a painful, tragic past, whilst Diana’s own repression has partly led to her developing something of a sixth sense. She inadvertently opens a doorway allowing Martaga to wreak havoc and pick off the students one by one in an array of gruesome deaths.
The film looks decent enough; director Sergi Vizcaino doesn’t do anything fresh with the formula but he at least ticks the boxes. There are some nice gore effects and the atmospherics are reasonably effective, whilst visually Dr Martaga has an interesting look that makes him a little more memorable than the standard film ghoul, but of course nowhere near icon level. The 3D element here is less impressive and every now and again a very lazy camera prodding shot is thrown in. You know the sort; someone will point right out to the camera, or point a stick right at it. It’s lacking any sort of subtlety and the shots are only every jarring, never impressive.
The cast are actually reasonably good. Salamanca and Ribas are effective as the two sisters. The remaining students are fairly disposable but at least not as wooden as your stereotypical American equivalent in this sort of film.
Whilst this will undoubtedly provide enough thrills for die hard genre fans, it’s just a little too ordinary to recommend for those with just a passing horror urge. The 3D aspect is pretty much a write off, which not even a big screen showing will be able to salvage. There has been far worse, and with the word paranormal in the title, one may have assumed this was yet another found footage film, but at the very least this avoids that overkilled sub-genre.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★