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Review of Horror Movie "Grave Encounters"

Updated on August 17, 2012

Grave Encounters

Last week, I watched this movie all alone in the dark, waiting to be thrilled. I didn't read any reviews nor watched the trailer, as I wanted to come to this movie with an open and apprehensive mind. I sort of wish I did read the reviews, though, as I might have skipped over it in favor of something else. This film was shot, rather well, in the "camera view" and is supposed to be "found footage" of a tv crew who stays the night in a supposedly haunted abandoned insane asylum. The tv show is called "Grave Encounters" and goes around the nation, seeking ghosts and other supernatural nonsense. Note: Skip to the last paragraph for final thoughts, as this next section may contain spoilers. (You might not be missing anything.)

Review

The movie starts out with this guy who ran the network, or something, that the show was on. He gives a slight introduction to the setting before we witness the footage shot by the crew. The main character, Lance, is the host of the tv show and sets up the background on what the asylum was like and a bit on its history. Through unedited footage, we see that the whole show is a bit of a joke, and Lance gives the gardener twenty bucks to give false (and not very convincing) testimony as to what he's seen at the building. The attendant shows them around the asylum where they witness all sorts of creepy rooms and halls. I was a bit excited seeing all this, as I believed that, come nightfall, it'd be getting pretty scary.

They set up all these cameras in different places throughout the asylum as the owner locks them in for the night, to release them at 6 A.M. In addition to Lance, there is a tech guy, a camera guy, and a camera girl. Their names, as their characters, unfortunately, are unmemorable. The last character they have is a guy named Houston, who plays the psychic of the group, often pretending to sense "evil" and whatnot for the camera to shoot. They roam about the place a little bit as it gets dark. Some of the places they see are a room with disturbing writing on the wall, an old bathroom that was rumored to be the place where a girl killed herself, and an assortment of eerie hallways, etc.

There main camp is right by the front door, which has been locked as to ensure they cannot leave. After hours of nothing, the camera guy sees a slammed door and bring the group to watch the footage. Lance gets everyone to try to contact any spirits, and eventually the girl's hair is moved by an unseen force. At this point, we are about halfway into the film, and the suspense has been built up; the viewer is ready for some scares. Well, at this time, the crew starts to pack up because they are expecting the caretaker to arrive and let them go. While packing up, the tech guy goes missing after investigating a widow which opened on its own. The group searched for him in vain and starts to panic, as it is past 6 A.M. The camera dude starts freaking out, which gets annoying very quickly into the movie, and breaks the door down, only to find more hallways.

One of the only scary parts of the movie comes next, where some demonic girl screams and chases the group down the hallway. The psychic is left behind and is strangled and thrown by some ghost. It seems like I spent most of the movie wanting it to be scary, but I didn't really care when the guy died, nor do I care for running down halls after running down the halls you just ran down after running some more. After sleeping a bit, some more mysterious things happen, like words scratched in the girl's skin, hospital tags on the peoples' wrists; things that have nothing to do with anything. They find Matt, but he's insane. then the cameraman is pulled into a blood-filled bathtub, then Matt falls down an elevator shaft, and the girl disappears in mist while sleeping. Finally, Lance goes insane and is presumably killed by some ghost doctors. Makes sense to you? It didn't to me, either.

Conclusion

End Score: 3/10

I wanted to like this film, but too many things happened that were meant to scare the viewer, but didn't make any sense. Why was it past 6 A.M. and it was still dark outside? Did they go into some ghostly dimension? If so, why was that never introduced with any clarity? Where did the cameraman and cameragirl go? How was the footage found at all? Did the crew go insane or were they killed by ghosts, or both? Plot holes can severely detract from the overall enjoyability of a film. I'd recommend skipping over this one, guys. I wouldn't watch it again, and I wish I hadn't to begin.

If you've seen this, you've seen the movie.

Comments

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    • Steve Orion profile image
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      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Disagree with my review of this movie? Or did I score it too high? Tell me!

    • OMGirdle profile image

      OMGirdle 5 years ago from United States

      I agree with you 100%. It reminded me of "Blair Witch" which was, I think, better than this movie. The scenery conflicted with what they were saying in the movie. How can you have a scary old hospital with clean shining walls? The girl in the corner was like "Blair Witch." I even knew what to expect when she turned around. I've seen that special effect on Youtube. Signed a true horror fan.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      I agree, even though I saw it a couple years ago, I can still remember most of what happened, and I remember I enjoyed it. I watched this last week and had trouble recalling much. It made that little of an impression on me. And yes, the low budget showed with the special effects of the demons. Thanks for your comment!

    • SPomposello profile image

      SPomposello 5 years ago from NY

      I actually liked this film. I think it kinda indirectly made it obvious that they were in another dimension of sorts, they even did that in "The Blair Witch Project". For a found footage movie, I feel that this was one of the better attempts. Those weren't plot holes, they were in an alternate reality that is different from our's, therefore it doesn't have to make a whole lot of sense. Why is past 6am and still dark? Because they're in another reality where the supernatural are in control of things of that nature.

      The same can be said for why the three ppl were walking around in circles in the woods in 'Blair Witch'.

    • Steve Orion profile image
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      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Were the kids in Blair Witch in an alternate reality? Not from what I remember, but it's been a while since I've given it a viewing. Concerning the separate dimension, where did that come from? There was absolutely no reason for that to occur, nor any explanation.

      It's a lame premise; think of this comparably: "Kids go into the woods to investigate a reported witch, but are taken to a separate dimension even though there is no mention of such a thing in the stories regarding the witch." Anyway, I do think the film ranks on the top half of the homemade footage horror movies, but just thought there were better options and the viewer shouldn't bother with this one. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • SPomposello profile image

      SPomposello 5 years ago from NY

      You're welcome :)

      Technically speaking, they were, in Blair Witch. The supernatural have the ability to alter reality as they wish in order to mess with the minds of the mortals. The movie doesn't have to spell it out though, this is common knowledge surrounding ghosts and such. For instance, ghosts can either make themselves invisible or visible whereas we human beings can not -- common knowledge surrounding ghosts and the supernatural.

      The fact that the entity in Blair Witch was actually a witch made this even make more sense. It's not that far fetched to have a witch who can conjure up some evil trick or spell to alter time in order to make her victims go insane. If you look at it, the victims in both films shared the same situation, just in a different environment.

      In those woods, Mike, Heather, and Josh were going in circles in Blair Witch. In that abandoned hospital, there were many dead-end walls behind exit doors and the sun never rose. Basically, the supernatural entities had their human victims trapped in both scenarios.

      If this movie were set on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, the entities would probably make it so that they would never reach any land despite how close or nearby the radar claims it to be. It makes sense that ghosts mess with people's heads.

    • profile image

      ParanormalPerson 5 years ago

      Ok, there is a really big clue in this movie that is hard to understand at first but you will understand if you watch ghost documentaries. At the beginning of the movie the man says to the investigators that the paranormal stuff only happens at night. And people say that when a place get filled with lots of ghosts, poltergeists and demons it can acctualy connect between the human world and the spirits dimension but only at night. The reason it never got day was because all the hours they where there wasn't more than 2 or 3 seconds or minuts (don't rememeber if it was seconds or minuts) and every time the where close of getting out it was just an other set of room was because the dimension. The reason the spirits chose to give them evidence of there existence was because they investigators whouldnt have any chance of surviving. they where traped in a dimension where space and time are different of ours.

    • Steve Orion profile image
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      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Ok, I get the concept, although it was poorly communicated in the film. I still think the movie isn't worth the watch, as it was all pointless, in my view. Thanks for the clarification, though, and the comment.

    • profile image

      lmao 5 years ago

      what are you ppl expecting...? its 2012,every single idea has been churned out and theres nothing new left to create, i find it absolutley funny you couldn't get the concept of them being trapped in the paranormal realm,it was a good touch,wether or not you missed the the point where it was supposed to be "communicated".

      point is,when your fucked...your fucked

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      @lmao

      That is absolutely untrue. There are no new ideas? Absurd.

      In any case, how is it funny if I thought that, instead of the people being sucked into some supernatural realm, the supernatural forces altered reality? Additionally, it wasn't a good touch if commonly used in this aged of already-churned-out-ideas.

    • duppycon2 profile image

      duppycon2 4 years ago from Yuma AZ

      I thought Grave Encounters was pretty decent, actually. Not terrifying, and I wouldn't buy the DVD, but I think since I went in with low expectations, I wasn't disappointed. I don't recall the budget (hopefully they didn't spend too much!), but as far as "found footage" movies go, this one wasn't bad.

      Have you seen Poughkeepsie Tapes yet?

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Thanks for the comment, and that's funny you should ask about that film, as I have it on my computer but have yet to watch it. I definitely have it high on my list to watch and review!

    • priley84 profile image

      priley84 4 years ago from Warner Robins, Ga

      Just read your review: You are 100% correct! Voted up! :)

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Thanks for the rating and comment!

    • newusedcarssacram profile image

      newusedcarssacram 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      I have not seen this movie yet...but after reading your hub I am thinking of watching this...coz I love horror movies...!!!

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Well, perhaps a re-read is in order?

    • profile image

      Ben 4 years ago

      I just finished watching the film, and I have no clue why you're not understanding it. They were in an insane asylum; hospital tags are used to clarify that they are now property of the asylum, patients. Matt (the tech, cause I care enough to remember character names, helps when reviewing, eh?) was the first to be invoked into the asylum, which is why he has become insane and most likely lobotomized.

      It details their slow creep into their own minds. Starvation, dehydration, loss of air to the brain and most importantly the tearing at their minds from all of the activity; It all adds to their sanity, becoming nothing less than inmates in the asylum they were planning to shoot a fake tv program inside.

      Are you forgetting the creativity in this? Entrances and exits becoming more and more scarce or even churning into more halls. It has been done before, but never like this. Build up is key and this film had many, many minutes of build up. Use of camera and take away editing are very well done in this feature, out-doing movies like quarantine, silent house and even paranormal activity, some of the most highly praised found-footage films. The ending could have been better, but it grants the conclusion I was searching for to wrap up my previous statement. You stay in the asylum at dead time (night) and you will become another patient.

      I would like to guess the caretaker did in-fact show up to open the doors and found they had left already. constant darkness, shutting down human functions, sounds, sights and the knowledge that you are no longer alone, would make any sane man as mad as a hatter.

      your review is short, messy and it seems like you don't care at all about it, not just the film but your review as well.

      conclusion:

      don't review movies if you don't want to make an effort.

      I found this film to be enjoyable, not scary, but a creative and thought provoking feature. I'd give it 7/10

      I'm waiting to see the sequel.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      The movie was not creative, not memorable (in events OR character names), and it seemed like I didn't care because, get this, I didn't. The movie wasn't scary, which, while you seem to agree, didn't effect your opinion and rating. 7? Lol

      But you did call it "creative" and "thought-provoking?!?" The people you find on the internet and their crazy definitions for words.

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