Baddie: Ghosts of patients, and maybe weird doctors, but definitely of angsty filmmakers.
Lesson: Procrastination is literally the devil. Just finish things. It’s better.
Feel free to tweet me any questions, recommendations, comments, compliments, whatever! Really, I just like the attention.
I miss Octoberween already.
I don’t normally do sequels. Not intentionally. I have, however, heard a ton of good things about this particular sequel. And also I get bored a lot.
This movie starts by reminding me what I hate about college. Thanks for that. It does, however, do something fun, which is take the view of a movie critic, who is a student. WEIRDLY FAMILIAR. It then shows a beautiful little subversive film cut of this student’s own horror movies – someone who makes valiant claims for ‘this generation’s Carpenter and Craven’ and wants ‘real models and makeup’. It’s kind of brilliant, because it comments on the critiques of the original movie in an entertaining way, including the ‘cheap SFX’ in Grave Encounters, which for my money was not the problem in the original. I actually did not complain about it at all in my original review.
However the novelty of this fades about the half hour mark. Unusual things are happening, but things fall into place. The audience was subjected to button cam where the producer plays scumbag (his words, not mine) and they harp once again on the effects in the first film. Ten minutes later, this movie gets even more meta.
Basically what we have here is a found footage movie about a found footage movie. It sounds redundant, but, it works. Like, way better than I expected it to. It’s funny, though. The directors cameo as interns, the producer complains about the want of a sequel. In the sequel. My brain hurts a little bit.
On a stupidity note – who goes to a meeting at 3am (the Witching Hour) in the basement of the abandoned sanitarium they think is haunted? Also, where did they get that fancy equipment (he later says it’s his school’s equipment, but like, good school)? Also, there’s a thermal imaging fart joke. Yaaaaaaaay. /sarcasm
I said it in the last review, but Grave Encounters follows the same sort of plan. Clues, but not visual indicators or scares, then it escalates around the 45 minute mark. After that, honestly, the scare gags are the same as the first movie. I got bored pretty quickly. As the team has not spent the entire movie in the asylum, the events start and escalate much quicker than the first movie. This time we are treated to other areas of the psych ward, such as shock therapy and the apparent children’s ward. Actually, there’s about 15 minutes of straight up action that leads to the apparent escape of three of them after a harrowing chase by the movie poster baddie.
At about an hour, a twist. And some unconvincing crazy. And basically everything that happened in the first movie happens again. If the gaping mouths of the first film neglected to scare you, then they aren’t going to scare you this time around either. There was one genuine scary moment that almost leads into a confrontation with the infamous surgeon, but that’s quickly glazed over in favor of the escape plot.
Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, Grave Encounters is, as a franchise, a lot like going through a haunted house. A lot of jump-out-at-you stuff, but not much substance or exploration. I’m pretty sure there’s a market for that, and I did still enjoy this film.
Overall a decently entertaining romp with plenty of film jokes for the aficionado of the genre, but not quite enough to warrant a subversion film, so there’s that.