Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grave Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters (Canada, 2011) - Color, Director(s): The Vicious Brothers
MPAA Rating: N/A
[UK: 15]
Approx. 92 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for trying to come off like a cheesy reality show

Much like other found footage films, they always have a bunch of boring set up before launching into the scary stuff. This one does too but cleverly uses a reality show as the reason they're filming all this. Kind of a Ghost Hunters-esque reality show, the host and his camera crew are locked inside of an abandoned psychiatric ward for the night to film their sixth episode. Hoping to capture real life footage of ghosts, they get more than they bargained for when they end up trapped inside. Tempers flare as crew members begin disappearing each time they're separated from the group. Kind of like a "found footage" take on a haunted house story, like Ghost Hunters meets House on Haunted Hill.

The "Grave Encounters" crew

I thought this was a surprisingly enjoyable film. I'm not sure what gave me such low expectations of it (probably just that I'd rarely heard of the movie) but that worked in its favor as I didn't know what to expect from it. I liked that once the shit hit the fans, and they were finally trying to get out, it went from just random ghostly happenings here and there (windows and doors opening/closing) to an all-out haunted house movie where the entrance goes missing and the front door now leads to a new hallway that was never there before. I like when ghost stories aren't just about being chased around by a malevolent spirit, but it's actually manipulating your surroundings as well. Taking away all hope of ever escaping.

Grave Encounters has been a cult hit ever since its release back in August 2011. This low budget indie horror has created such a buzz online since its premier at the Tribeca Film Festival that they're coming out with a sequel that drops some time this month. Keep your eyes peeled!!!

Nudity: None. Probably the only thing that was missing.

Gore: Nothing visceral but we do see a bathtub filled with blood, people spitting up blood, and even the word "Hello" carved into someone's back.

Awesome: Not bad at all. I found this movie to be really satisfying if you're looking for something fun and creepy to watch. Don't expect to be plagued by nightmares or for this movie to change your life drastically. This was just a fun haunted house movie with a found footage twist. If you enjoyed House on Haunted Hill (1999), I would recommend this one too because I enjoyed both of these movies. Good fun for a Halloween night!