Review of Horror Movie "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.)
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.
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.
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