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Grave Encounters – A Review

Total Score 80%

Directors: The Vicious Brothers
Release Year: 2011

I know what you’re thinking. Another crappy P.O.V. (point of view) horror movie fully equipt with a shaky lens and bad zoom. That is precisely what kept me from watching this on Netflix. I would casually pass over it thinking it was just another Ghost Hunters rip off type of show having not paid attention to the length which is 92 mins, about the time of a feature film. But, after I caught the trailer on my Facebook feed it all became clear. I was intrigued while viewing the goosebumps inducing preview which doesn’t do the movie justice, so don’t skip out due to any preconceived notions you may have about the “mockumentary” genre.

Found Footage Turns Into Lost Lives In Paranormal Spookfest

The premise of the film surrounds a group of amateur ghost hunters who are trying to make it big with their show Grave Encounters. The film opens with a “producer” who explains about the found footage of what would have been episode 6 of the show. His mood changes as he tells the camera that nothing has been edited or changed then goes to present the footage which was “lost” for 7 years.

Episode 6 of Grave Encounters takes place at Collinwood Psychiatric Hospital which had been closed for half a century and rumored to be haunted. The host of the show, Lance Preston, takes us on location starting with the usual interviews from staff and groundskeepers giving a bit of the hospital’s sordid history. A history full of patients who have been severely tortured by way of neglect, electroshock, and unnecessary lobotomies. Lance and his crew have agreed to be locked in the hospital overnight after being shown the paranormal “hotspots” of the place. The outtakes show a very skeptical crew of investigators most of which don’t even believe in the paranormal and proceed to make wisecracks about it. This I found to be quite amusing and refreshing giving a stronger sense of foreshadowing for the night to come.

Spirits Make Presence Known In This Horror Film

The disbelieving crew set up their equipment and the first few hours give little proof of the paranormal. Then a door slams next to Lance and soon after Sasha, the occult specialist of the group, feels a presence brush her hair up. After catching this amazing footage on camera, Lance convinces the now freaked out crew to stay and finally get the evidence they need to get their show off the ground. But, soon they see that the spirits around them are of a hostile nature. After deciding that they have sufficient evidence, they send a crewman to pack up the cameras so they can get the hell out. They wait and when he doesn’t return, things go from bad to just plain horrible as the crew fights to make it out alive with their sanity intact.

I have to tell you I have been a lifelong watcher of horror movies and have a special fondness for the haunted house/paranormal sub-genre. This film had me on the edge of my seat and actually covering my eyes at certain points! In a sea of recent P.O.V. movies, this one stands out as one of the most original I have witnessed to date. So take a chance with this one and toss any former ideas about this genre out the window as this one may surprise you. My advice, forget it was ever intended to be fiction and let it be real.

The writer did well for a genre that’s been beat to death.

Four out of five blood drops!

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Published on: June 24, 2012

Filled Under: Horror Movie Reviews

Views: 1700

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