Director: The Vicious Brothers
Starring: Sean Rogerson, Juan Riedinger, Ashleigh Gryzko, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir
They were searching for proof… they found it
Lance and his film crew are shooting a new episode of “Grave Encounters”, a show where they visit supposedly haunted places to film ghost activities. They usually don’t find anything, but fake the effects and interviews to make it look real. Their newest episode will take place at the Collinwood Psychiatric Hospital and it starts like just another episode for them. They interview some people, use the little information they get and add a lot around it, even paying people to do fake interviews in front of the camera.
They lock themself in the building, a regular gesture to make sure to the viewers that they cannot run away if something where to happen, and they start to explore the building screaming out for ghosts to contact them. This place however IS haunted and they soon wish that they hadn’t messed around with these ghosts.
Grave Encounters is perhaps the POV movie that has gotten the best feedback after the success of Paranormal Activity. It starts out kind of like a spoof on all the ghost hunter TV shows that are out there. That does actually make it work a lot and keeps the film interesting when the scares and horror aren’t going on.
Lance Preston, played by Sean Rogerson, is a slick and arrogant guy who is good in front of the camera. He is simply using the paranormal to make money and has little respect for it. The very lovely Ashleigh Gryzko plays the film nerd Sasha Parker who spends most of the time behind the camera, but do become a terrified victim after a while. Merwin Mondesir plays T.C. and is the most annoying character here. He is noisy, screams and yells and is just really, really annoying. Mackenzie Gray is the fake psychic, who looks just as creepy as any ghosts would. He is fun at the start when it’s all play and games, and kind of ends in the background after a bit. The last one is Juan Riedinger as Matt, a guy we don’t really get to know during the film.
While this does start very good, there are some issues that I disliked after a while here. The demonic faces and demon creatures didn’t do much and could have been cut down. The ending also seemed to be simply to set up a sequel instead of doing this one justice. It’s also surprisingly enough not very scary. Now I usually find these things creepy, even the ghost hunting shows that this spoofs a little is creepy to me, so I was surprised that I didn’t feel more tension during this than I did. I do think that a lot of the regular moviegoers will find it creepy at times though.
This is made by “The Vicious Brothers”, who names are really Stuart Ortiz and Colin Minihan. Perhaps it’s not stupid to have two people who has known each other for a long time co-work on their first feature. They did seem very focused here and got what they was out to make. It will be an interesting duo to follow in the future and the first new project is a sequel to this one.
Grave Encounters is one of the better POV movies that have come out after Paranormal Activity. It’s well done and does get a little creepy at times. It’s got a lot of flaws, but also some great scenes that makes this very enjoyable.