August 23, 2011

Review: Grave Encounters (2011)

"If you like your scary movies light on the scary, this is the movie you've been waiting for!"

*In Limited Release now, various cities.

Grave Encounters starts off promising enough; with its Horror reality show angle, and its creepy location and premise, but as it wore on, the creepiness diminished more and more until it was gone altogether, and we were left just wanting it to end.

Lance Preston and the crew of "Grave Encounters", a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted - it is alive - and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital's dark past...and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

 It seems to us that Grave Encounters is loosely based on The Travel Channel's show, Ghost Adventures, which features an annoying muscle bound ghost hunter locking he and his crew inside of creepy old buildings at night, and walking around taunting the ghosts with verbal gems like "Dude!" and "Come at me, Ghost Bro!" and "Dude, come at me ghost Bro, Dude!"

Seriously, he walks around trying to karate fight ghosts.

To be fair, aside from lame theatrics like that, the show can be creepy at times, and I dare say creepier than the uber-popular Ghost Hunters on Syfy.

The only real difference is the Smurf.
Like I was saying, Grave Encounters feels a lot like that show, from the host to the way they "X-mark" certain spots and set up their cameras, to the way that they ask the questions of the ghosts... The problem is that the movie gets mired down in the style it's trying to exude and forgets to be creepy. There's just not enough subtlety. The scares come eventually, but instead of adding to the ambiance, they pretty much instantly kill the mood and atmosphere, and never allowed us to get back into things again.

Once that's gone, the acting and script tend to grate on you, as does the whole "shaky cam" aspect of things, which is never fun even during the best of the movies. I'd say by the time we got to the part of the movie that involved mean ghosts altering time and doing construction on the building, we were done.

We've said it before and this movie upholds our claim; movies made by guys that have nicknames are usually atrocious;The Viscous Brothers join the ranks of The Brothers Strauss, The Butcher Brothers, McG, Diablo Cody and others, in showing that they're more concerned with an edgy name than they are with doing something worthy of having an edgy name. The younger crowd and those easily scared may feel the effects of this one, but for most Horror fans, it's going to fall flat.

D

We have no idea where this "Ashleigh Gryzko" came from, but we admire her sexy talents. Also, we're pretty sure she's a smurf. A pale one.

7 comments :

  1. I'm also a pale smurf, gotta love the pasty white! :D

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  2. Be careful. Collectively, we are like Gargamel :)~

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  3. Firstly this comment may contain ***SPOILERS***,you have been warned.

    Secondly,I am assuming that when you say 'collectively' you mean the guys at THC,as I am not like Gargamel in the slightest!I am more like a chubby Doozer.

    I've just finished watching G.E and I'm not sure it deserves a D grade,although it is a C at best.I initially thought your review was a tad short but upon seeing the film it is difficult to review it without giving stuff away.
    I did enjoy this film,the jumps though few were well done and it the 'ghosts' were good.
    ***SPOILERS***(possibly,who knows)
    However,towards the end it got a little bit House on Haunted Hill which was kinda lame as it did pretty much 'borrow' a big slice from that film.And I would like to know why every old abandoned haunted asylum seems to have a mad doctor who dabbles in the occult?
    And I know it's cliche,but in found footage films is pretty necessary,there were no final notes to the film.Who found the footage?Was a search made?What else was found?What were the final thoughts by the police or production company?Etc,etc...

    Anyhow,sorry for the long drawn out comment.Right I'm off to carry on working construction as those damn fraggles keep eating the new highway,the sooner the gorgs sort them out the better.

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  4. It was hard to talk much about it without spoiling, so we made due.

    I didn't understand why there was no "resolution" at the end either. As you said, I think it's imperative to have some "Who, what and when" at the end of found footage flicks. Then gain, some of them like to end abruptly, for effect I suppose.

    Originally we gave it a C-, but the more I thought about it, the more below average it felt. Then again we're pretty Jaded, and I do think most people will see it as a "C" movie.

    And yes, we are a collective :)

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  5. A collective?The horror movie equivalent of the Borg??

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  6. Yes, and we do mean to assimilate all human life. Eventually.

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  7. So...a lazy collective....duly noted.
    Just watched G.E., myself (way to join the party late, I know. I just learned of the movie yesterday, honestly), and was also annoyed at the lack of resolution. Partly because I was a bit confused what happened there in the end.

    Let me rephrase. I get what happened, but **POTENTIAL SPOILERS**

    ...I though the point of found footage films was that everyone dies. After what happened to Lance, he said he was better and could go home. So did he die? or disappear? or both?

    *END POTENTIAL SPOILERS**

    This is why we need resolutions!

    Also, wasn't very fond of the ghosties. More like I wasn't fond of the cgi bits (like that chick's face) , it kinda cheesed it up for me. Maybe if it wasn't such obvious cgi, it wouldn't have killed the "found footage" effect.

    Other than that, was good for what it was. coulda been a lot better.

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