Despite the fact that there is quite possibly zero originality with Grave Encounters, I must say that I actually really enjoyed it! This is yet another one of those ‘found footage’ movies and especially since the popularity of the Paranormal Activity franchise, this film brings with it all the trappings of a good old fashioned ghost story. It was an intense watch from start to finish, and I personally wasn’t too bothered by the fact that it ‘borrowed’ from a lot of other films – these days, what film doesn’t do that?
This movie is basically the footage of a TV crew who were filming one of those shows that explore ghostly phenomena, only this time it all gets out of hand. There is also the added bonus of the ‘haunted house’ being an old mental institution, how sweet is that? Buy one get one free. I approve!
It doesn’t take too long before the film kicks off with creepy events such as windows opening by themselves and unknown silhouettes, but it’s not just ghosts that this group have to worry about. Oh no, they have the actual layout of the building changing to contend with too, as well as time appearing to not be running as it ‘normally’ should. These added elements create a pitiful and desperate situation where the characters are disorientated beyond belief (The Blair Witch Project anyone?). Us viewers too are left questioning exactly how things are going to play out – of course we know that it’ll end in disaster, as found footage movies always do, but there were a few unexpected steps along the way.
I’m actually surprised that Grave Encounters isn’t more widely known really, especially seeing as how a lot of nonsense has managed to enter the mainstream somehow. This is a horror movie which does exactly what it says on the tin – uses well known techniques in order to scare people. And I don’t personally think there’s anything wrong with that. Directed by ‘The Vicious Brothers’ (Collin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz), a sequel has already been made, due out 12th October, something which I’m cautious about but am glad that I don’t really have long to wait for it!
It’s an exciting, fun movie which I strongly recommend as something that you can perhaps watch casually with your mates round – it’s always good fun to laugh at clueless people slowly losing their minds! Between the more light-hearted moments (more so at the beginning, where it became apparent that they usually can’t find any paranormal occurrences for their previous shows, ironically enough) there are also bits which genuinely scared me. I must confess, I did physically jump on more than one occasion, and for getting this balance perfectly right I am very pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
It’s weird how some films (films like this, for example!) which do not offer anything that original can turn out to be brilliant and scary, yet other films which are dripping with innovation just fail to grasp the picture. I think in order to get the most out of watching Grave Encounters, avoid looking at trailers beforehand or any in-depth analysis of it (if there is any) and just launch straight in – the story isn’t complex by any means, but that’s the beauty of it.