Grave Encounters (2011)

Written and directed by The Vicious Brothers. Starring Sean Rogerson, Juan Riedinger, Ashleigh Gryzko, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir and Ben Wilkinson.

Plot: the crew of a ghost hunting show lock themselves in an abandoned mental hospital and – of course – they find out that the rumors are truer than they believed.

This movie is a remarkable found footage tale filled with amusing bits and frightening bits and we can’t watch it alone. We love horror because we love to be truly terrified and this terrified us.

The ghost hunting show is actually called Grave Encounters. It’s host is Lance Preston (Rogerson). With him are occult specialist, Sasha Parker (Gryzko), the tech guy, Matt White (Riedinger), the camera guy, TC Gibson (Mondesir) and the fake medium, Houston Grey (Gray). Funny thing about it is, none of them believe in ghosts. Nope. They just pretend. They even pay a landscaper that works on the grounds of the hospital to say that he’s seen a ghost there.

The crew laughs behind the scenes and scoffs at the truth in any of it. Still, when one of them goes missing and one of them is pushed down stairs by something unseen, they freak. They did nothing to prepare themselves for what could happen if ghosts turned out to be real. Amateurs. Because of this it was hard to like any of them at first. We kind of just wanted to smack them. Especially when one of them says, “This place is about as haunted as a sock drawer.” And to that we ask –

Why can’t sock drawers be haunted?!

It’s a marvelous script though. The acting is great. They have some of the best reactions to things we’ve ever seen. They were honest, believable, sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking. The end of the movie gets disturbingly realistic and altogether unpleasant. Suddenly the people we wanted to smack became people we wanted to shine lights on and say, “It’ll be okay. Come with us. We’ll take you somewhere safe and warm where you won’t have to debase yourselves.”

The worst thing about the film was that it had no rules.  No simple way – or any complex way for that matter – to survive.  But the effects were awesome and the direction was terrific.  The Vicious Brothers know exactly what to do and when to do it to scare the shit out of me and DJ.  We highly recommend you see this movie if you’re a horror fan who actually likes to be scared.

Our score: 76.


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