Horror Thursday, Reviews — February 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

HORROR THURSDAY: GRAVE ENCOUNTERS

by

I’m telling you right now that this review is not going to have any spoilers. So go ahead and read this, then rush out and watch this movie cause holy fuck shit you guys, this movie has me rattled. And I haven’t been rattled by a horror movie in awhile. Probably the last time was The Poughkeepsie Tapes, so you know I’m fucking serious, dude.

Grave Encounters, the film, is a found footage film. “Grave Encounters”, the TV show in said film, is a take on all those ghost hunting shows that are now popular. It’s hosted by Lance, who does his shtick of “I’m Lance, I lived in a haunted house my entire life. Ghosts follow me everywhere I go. Now I go where the ghosts go. This………….IS Grave Encounters!”

What we’re watching is the sixth episode and they’re at a psychiatric hospital that closed down years ago. The stuff we see at the beginning is some behind the scenes stuff where we learn that if they find a ghost, that’d be great but if not, oh well. We can make it creepy in post, cash our checks, and move on to the next location.

They even bring in a psychic named Houston, who overplays his part by saying shit like “this room is full of evil forces” or “there’s a thousand souls crying out all at once”. Even he’s fake. There’s also the camera guy T.C, the “tech” expert Matt, and a hot chick named Sasha. I don’t know what her job was here besides looking hot. I’m sure that’s all it was.

Then they start filming the show, going around asking spirits to show themselves and very slowly the spirits start showing themselves. The crew gets freaked out and want to leave. Only one problem: to make the show look good, they asked the groundskeeper to literally lock them in the building until the morning. So they have 30 more minutes to go…

And I’ll stop there. Cause everything after that surprised the fuck out of me. I was expecting another typical “found footage” ghost story where maybe some things fly out at you or just simply move on their own with no pay off, but here, they totally flipped the script and I really loved what I saw.

The entire beginning which parodies those shows I guess is good. I honestly don’t watch those shows cause despite being a hardcore horror fan, I really don’t believe in ghosts. But this movie did a pretty good job trying to convince me. The guy playing Lance the host was good. He was a giant douche the entire time, just trying to host a show when fucked up shit was happening. I do have one complaint: T.C

His character got annoying after awhile. I guess he was suppose to be the “voice of reason” but it got old quickly and I wanted him to shut the fuck up. The Houston character was funny cause he’s just an actor getting paid and he doesn’t like any of this ghost shit. Oh, yeah, I do have another complaint and this happens in all modern found footage films.

Anytime they film a ghost, all the footage starts getting that digital feedback, like it gets all distorted. I wish filmmakers would knock that off and just show us the damn scary shit. It wasn’t as bad here as it’s been in other films (like the movie I reviewed a couple of weeks ago Atrocious) but it’s ok to suspend belief that ghosts won’t fuck up digital recordings if it means better scares.

That’s all I got to say really. It’s hard for me to get freaked out so easily, despite what Dylan thinks. I think Kai would LOVE the shit out of this movie, and probably never sleep again, if he saw it. This movie is way scarier than all three Paranormal Activity films COMBINED. It’s on Netflix Instant watch, so give it a watch.

And if you have seen it, hit me up at my email address (invasionofthebmovies@gmail.com) so we can discuss it without spoiling here in a public forum. Or leave your opinions here in the comments about this film.

♥♥♥♥

-Jason

9 Comments

  • It was freaky, yeah. But it had a LOT of flaws, and a lot of the movie got just plain silly. Not to mention its biggest scares were no different than those “Are you watching closely?” pictures where a ghost person with a distorted face appears. And they literally used that same distorted face.

    As I’ve already told you elsewhere, I did think it was freaky, but it has a WAY too slow start and what you liked about it, I thought was dumb (and vice versa). It’s very well made and has great atmosphere, but Poughkeepsie Tapes was infinitely freakier and unsettling. I can and can’t compare it to Paranormal Activity, though. The difference is that PA is big on an invisible entity, while this one is all about showing you the ghosts, so it’s a different type of scare.

    • And as I said elsewhere, I disagree with you. I didn’t think the face distortion was silly, but freaky as hell. And also, ALL found footage films start off slow. Find me one that doesn’t, I dare ya! And I think ghosts you see and ghosts you don’t see are equally scary, if both are done right. And here, I feel, it was done right.
      -Jason

  • Great review, really looking forward to this. Love a good found footage horror and the last three of four I watched were really scraping the bottom of the barrel… check out my post on my blog if you’re interested! http://ilovethatfilm.blogspot.com/2012/02/scaping-bottom-of-found-footage-barrel.html Paranormal Entity 2 aka Gacy House is not bad if you fancy it?

  • Not a lot of originality but it could still scare you into a change of pants, for sure. Our short video review of Grave Encounters:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCzZq-czrkI&list=UU6ieEOZW4iXV8TcILJI8k5g&index=1&feature=plcp

  • This was a good one! The face distortions were freaky as hell.

    I agree it had a slow start, but I liked how Lance was totally faking it in the beginning, just like I pictured all of these reality shows doing it.

    I made sure to watch it during the day though, since I am a total wimp. Once again, thanks for the Horror Thursday recommendations.

  • Grave Encounters was okay. It wasn’t anything new and it did have a few jump scares, but the biggest problem I have with this film is who found the footage? If there really were spirits haunting this asylum, why would they let someone in and take the one piece of evidence that they even exist?

    That’s my ultimate problem with found footage: if these people really are documenting spirits, ghosts, etc., then why would those same evil entities let the world know they exist? In Paranormal Activity 3, why wouldn’t Toby just destroy the tapes and cover up its existence? It would be beneficial for them so they can keep haunting others.

  • Immortal found footage film. I live for horror and this really took me by surprise. One of the best horror flicks over the last decade or so – gotta love found footage!!!
    Great review
    Chris.

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