Review: Paranormal Xperience 3D / Cert: 18 / Director: Sergi Vizcaino / Screenplay: Daniel Padro / Starring: Maxi Iglesias, Amaia Salamanca, Lucho Fernandez / Release Date: Out Now
The words 'Paranormal', 'Xperience' and '3D' do not, normally inspire great confidence. Thankfully, Paranormal Xperience 3D is much better than its title suggests. An odd Spanish supernatural slasher film, it packs its five medical students off for a field trip which none of them will forget in a hurry.
The setting is an abandoned Spanish mining town, rumoured to be haunted, following the crimes of a murderous mad doctor and his subsequent death there. The students' experiment (Xperiment?) hopes to disprove the existence (Xistence?) of spooks (spoox? Too far?) and the supernatural, but the evidence they find there points so far in the opposite direction as to get them all thoroughly killed... in 3D.
Starburst had envisioned yet another found footage turd, slipping Paranormal Xperience 3D into our DVD player, but there's barely a handicam nor snotty nose to be found throughout. In fact, it's closer to a backwoods slasher film than it is a Paranormal Activity rip-off. The good doctor makes for a fine villain, while the kids are young and pretty enough that they're decent company until they're inevitably knocked off, one by one. If only they could have spent a little more time paying attention to their surroundings and less trying to hit on one another, they might have survived a little longer. From one character's constant obsession with both tying and being tied up, to the guys' relentless hitting on poor troubled Diana, it's small wonder that this famous five should find themselves failing their finals.
Predictable and clichéd as it may be (does a film's twist still count as a twist if we can see it coming from a mile off?), Paranormal Xperience does impress in its gore sequences. Despite being very obviously filmed for 3D (expect to see a lot of fingers, gore and grue thrown at the screen), it's delightfully nasty at times, making good use of the old eyeball piercing, barbed wire garrotting and smashed glass splatter sequences throughout. The CGI blood is no good, and some of the makeup work is a bit iffy, but it only adds to the film's charm.
A pleasant surprise, Paranormal Xperience 3D is an enjoyable Spanish curiosity which makes up for its lack of originality with guts, gusto and... yes, Xtreme 3D.