Grave Encounters (2011)

March 20, 2012 - 9:46pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Ashleigh Gryzko, found footage, ghosts, Grave Encounters, haunted, haunted hospital, haunting, hospital, Juan Riedinger, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir, pov, Sean Rogerson, The Vicious Brothers

Your rating: None Average: 7.9 (14 votes)
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The Vicious Brothers
Sean Rogerson, Juan Riedinger, Ashleigh Gryzko, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir

If there's one sub-genre I try to avoid it's the "found footage" one. The whole aspect just doesn't appeal to me, but I try to give certain films a chance if I feel the movie may make an attempt to change things up a bit. Grave Encounters was a film that came highly recommended by friends and peers, so I finally caved in and gave it a shot. Although I didn't like the movie as much as they did, I did like how it approached the tired sub-genre a bit differently. 

The pic follows a team of ghost hunters, who are part of a reality-TV crew that go from one supposedly haunted location to another to document unexplained phenomena. In their latest episode they voluntarily lock themselves in an old abandoned Psychiatric Hospital that's said to be haunted by various deceased patients. At first things seem pretty normal, but as the night grows longer strange things begin to occur. Once one of the team turns up missing, they soon realize that the place is indeed haunted, and its spectral occupants aren't friendly.

I liked the movie for the first half or so, as we followed the crew around while they explored the dark hospital. Even though not much was shown, it was just creepy and interesting watching the characters traverse through all the dark corridors, and leaving us viewers to guess as to when something may occur. It was also great to see that they pretty much only used the lights on their cameras, so many of the scenes are fairly dark. Sadly, once we cross over to the second half the movie begins to gradually lose its "reality" aspect and slowly becomes just a standard horror film, especially within the last 20/30 minutes, where noticeable CG effects are used and we're given scare after scare, ultimately leading to a predictable climax.

Though, like I said, I did enjoy it to an extent. The fact that these guys are part of a TV crew documenting the paranormal gives them a great excuse to keep the cameras rolling. I liked the simplicity of the first half, but once CG was introduced with the first on-screen ghost, it just lost all its edge and realism that it offered up until that point. Regardless, it's still a decent effort for a tired sub-genre.

Grave Encounters is a pretty decent film while it retained its realism, but loses its edge once it became just another standard found footage film. There are a couple creepy moments, but unless CG ghosts scare you, chances are you won't be effected by much of what occurs in the last 30-minutes. I'm sure found footage fans will enjoy this, but unless you're bored and have time to burn, those seeking a good creative horror flick should look elsewhere.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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