Grave Encounters (2011) – movie review

grave encounters pic 1

kinopoisk.ruGrave Encounters (2011)

I remember when this first came out, I was somewhat under whelmed with found footage films and shaky handheld camera SOV flicks. I think, in the couple of years that have past, I have become more accepting of them and see them as another style of film making in the field of cinema. When they are done right, found-footage films can offer an immediacy and intimacy that makes them feel genuine. When they’re done wrong, they just seem like a mess and act as a crutch for not having a good script.

So, now that I got Netflix, (yes congrats are in order), I felt I could try out this movie and I wouldn’t mind shutting it off in a half-hour if it proved to be anything less than enjoyable. I wouldn’t feel like I had wasted my money. I must say, to my surprise, I enjoyed Grave Encounters quite a bit.

A team of ghost investigators enter an abandoned mental institution for a night of EVPs, EMFs, and ghost chasing. If any of you are familiar with, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, and Most Haunted – shows that have been airing the last 10 years or so, you should know the routine. This one follows most closely to Ghost Adventures and the show host, Lance, even seems to get most of his cues and mannerisms from the real show host, Zakk Bagans.

grave-encounters pic 5The small crew journeys through the asylum with little results for their efforts. Lance even mentions that they should shoot some footage of the dark hallways just to get something spooky looking for the show. Just when they are about to pack it in, they begin to get some real signs of paranormal activity. From there the film successfully ramps up the suspense as the ghostly events escalate to a frightening level.

Without being a spoiler, let me just say there are a few things in this film that I have never seen done before and must commend the film makers for their original ideas and concepts. The scene with the tub and the scene where they finally break through the front door to leave were awesome. The only drawback would be, it takes a bit of time for the good scary stuff to develop. But if you have some patience, the film definitely pays off.  I would give this film a very high rating, close to Rec in my favorite found-footage film category. Great atmosphere, great haunted place feel, exceptional acting, jump scares, creepy tension, it has it all.

If you are accepting of the found-footage style and if you like haunted house/ghost stories – or if you’re a fan of the above mentioned ghost investigation programs, I would highly recommend Grave Encounters.

14 thoughts on “Grave Encounters (2011) – movie review

  1. loathed the film. The lead is profoundly annoying, the script was as shaky as an Ikea kitchen table and it’s an overt (in EVERY sense) ripoff of Ghost Adventures, an already horrible television show. The fact that they didn’t even attempt to disguise their “borrowing” of the Ghost Adventures layout, execution and even personalities speaks testament to the laziness of the Vicious Brothers. Arguably the biggest let down of the last half decade.

  2. I enjoyed this film well enough, although I wouldn’t say that it was good as Rec! I watch a few ghost hunting shows and liked all the jabs at them, they came across to me as good natured rather than snidey. The sequel is ok, does up the stupidity levels quite a bit though! Good review.

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t say as good as Rec, but up there in my top 10 FF films or maybe even Top 5. I did like The Bay better and perhaps Chronicle. Rec would be my number one followed by the US version, Quarantine.

      • I think this may be a subject for a post. Actually, Blair Witch wouldn’t even be in my top picks. I didn’t like it – not because of the shaky, dizzy-cam, but because nothing really happens in the film, IMO.

  3. I enjoyed the first movie quite a bit. The second one didn’t do it for me. Felt like they did it just to do it.

  4. Pingback: My Top 5 Found Footage Films, What’s Yours? | parlor of horror

  5. I would say that this movie was awesome! Since I was 12 horror movies haven’t been able to scare me. But this managed to and for that I rate it this movie like a 4 out of 10. I only gave it 4 because some of the parts in the movie were a little bit cheesy. (SPOILER ALERT) For example the hands coming out of the wall and ceiling, but other than that it was great!

    • I felt the same way. Some of it was, “I seen this before” and then they would have something really original thrown at you. I mentioned the part with the tub in the review, that was unexpected for me and really impressive.

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