Monday, October 24, 2011

Movie Review: Grave Encounters

On Amazon: Grave Encounters

Lance Preston and the crew of Grave Encounters, a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years. In the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted: it's alive, and it has no intention of ever letting them leave.

It's Halloween time, so of course scary movies get a bump up the To Watch list. Grave Encounters is an indie horror film that I was surprised to discover was released this year. I have a tendency to be a little behind on movies that I don't actually go to the theater to see. This was actually released September 9th, but being indie, was quickly released to DVD after its theater run. You know, instead of mindlessly waiting a year?

The previews for it looked excellent, in the way of psychothrillers. Honestly though, the previews are TOO thorough. There were some very memorable scenes in the movie that were downgraded to "acceptable" because I knew to expect the surprise from the trailers.

This is another one of those "made to be real" movies ala Blair Witch or The Last Exorcism. I actually have a hard time with these movies because for some reason the jostling camera makes me motion sick. I'd like to note I have no problem on boats, in cars, rollercoasters or merry-go-rounds...

I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, that there is a mixture of "live" footage and stationary cameras. They set up cameras all over the hospital to capture the supernatural footage, as well as what they were taking with them. It was not a superb, but a viable excuse for the style of filming. It was enough that I could suspend disbelief for the length of the movie :)

The ending is what you would suspect, though the paths of some characters in the movie may surprise.

I thoroughly enjoyed Grave Encounters and I would watch it again during a spookfest, and definitely again with someone who hasn't seen it (like watching Saw again - just to see them jump!) Especially for a low budget indie film, I was very impressed with the visual effects and talent.

I give Grave Encounters 8 frights out of 10.

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