September 9, 2012

Quick Review: Greystone Park (2012)
aka The Asylum Tapes, Greystone Park is the feature film debut of Oliver Stone's son, Sean. Apparently, the plot is based on a real event where Stone Jr. and the other guy in the movie broke into this old deserted asylum, got creeped out, and decided to make a movie about it.

After watching a few interviews with Sean Stone, I've come to the conclusion that he's either insane or on peyote, or both. He's all about conspiracy theories, he's sure that Satanic Cults have been after him and his friends, and he's seen people possessed by demons before, so... whatever. Was the movie good or not, right?

The story is just about the same as most other FF flicks of this kind: "A group of friends head to an old abandoned _________ to investigate rumors of paranormal shenanigans, and shit goes wrong. Real wrong." That's the general template, and it's definitely at work here.

There's nothing original about the premise of this movie, or the execution for that matter. We will however give some credit to the fact that this movie was actually based on real events (kind of), and so at least the filmmakers "experienced" some of what we see on screen, and it's not all just made up slop. There's a bit of truth to some of the story elements. Fine.

This may have actually happened.
Overall, the movie was well made, for what it is. Sean Stone has a prolific filmmaker for a Dad, so it's natural that he got some good advice and learned about movie making since he was a kid. It shows, here and there, and for a cheap movie, it looks and feels a notch or two better than others of its kind.

She was a cutie. Bonus.
Like nearly every single Found Footage flick before it though, Greystone Park is devoid of any characters with common sense in their heads, which of course prompts them to explore every creepy passageway in this incredibly creepy hospital, even when it's apparent that they aren't alone. The shaky-cam thing is getting very old too. I'm almost to the point where I don't want to watch anything involving a hand held camera anymore. Not only is it annoying and even maddening at times, but I'm convinced that it's just a way for "filmmakers" to be lazy and not have to frame shots. Or frame a plot, for that matter.

Anywho, if you can stomach the tried and true formula involving morons who run around places they shouldn't be, all the while making poor decisions and filming everything that they do all seizure-style, then this one may work for you. It has some cool moments and some scares here and there.

That was fairly creepy.
You know the drill here; dumb people make dumb decisions, they film it all, the camera shakes incessantly, creepy things happen but since it's all "real" a lot of it is obscured or only happens in flashes... it's a typical FF flick. If you like them, you will most likely like this one. If you don't, then why are you even reading this?

C- for effort and a few positive qualities.

They're in this.

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