28 October, 2014

Grave Encounters review

Genre: Supernatural, Found Footage, Horror.
Starring: Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Merwin Mondesir, Mackenzie Gray, Juan Reininger, Arthur Corber, Bob Rathie, Matthew K McBride, Ben Wilkinson, Alex Timmer, Eva Gilford, Michelle Cummins, Shawn Macdonald, Fred Keating, Max Train, Marita Eason, Luis Jamer.
Year Of Release: 2012 (UK) 2011 (US)
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Director: The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz)
Synopsis: "For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that's supposedly haunted - and it might prove to be all too true." IMDB

After recently reviewing "Extraterrestrial" which was made by The Vicious Brothers, I had to review the film that made me fall in love with their work. I know a lot of people find the whole Found Footage sub-genre to be boring and played out, however when done correctly it is terrifying, here is what I thought of the "brothers" directorial debut.

Opening up with Jerry Hartfield (Wilkinson) who is the producer of the popular "Grave Encounters" a paranormal investigation television series, he introduces us to the hose Lance Preston (Rogerson) [who to me is clearly a parody of Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans]. Hartfield goes on to tell us that the show was cancelled after its fifth episode and the footage from the sixth episode went mysteriously missing, the footage was found some time later and brought to Hartfield. The film is headlined by Lance, Sasha Parker an occult specialist, Matt White the camera guy, T.C Gibson and Houston Grey who are all set out to investigate the notoriously haunted and abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital were nearly 100,000 patients were treated.

Caretaker (Rathie) of the Hospital gives them a tour of the site, that night the crew set up their investigatory equipment and begin their overnight investigation while locked within the hospital. It is now when the truly strange things begin to occur, creepy noises, unexplained events and slamming doors. Lance notices ghostly apparitions and orbs in a picture they have taken, while retrieving their cameras to check for evidence Matt goes missing. This is when it ALL kicks off!

Overall, the film was a resounding success in my opinion, while the film is obviously not an original concept by any stretch of the imagination. The Vicious Brothers really make it their own, if you're a fan of the sub-genre or not you will struggle to find a better paranormal based Horror in the past decade in my opinion. For me it's at least on par with "Paranormal Activity" and that film completely changed the Found Footage/Paranormal genre.

The acting is pretty good considering the film is such a low budget production, acting is usually the first thing directors give up when they have no money in Horror, however the brothers seem to have cast more than capable actors/actresses for their film. The asylum they use leaves the audience feeling uncomfortable and uneasy knowing even to walk the halls in the day would be a horrific experience. The location scout on this hit the ball out the park with this location.

I highly recommend you check this film out especially if you're a fan of the sub-genre, if you are not check it out anyway I have a feeling it may sway you to becoming a believer in the sub-genre once again. While the concept is unoriginal, I GUARANTEE the scares are all original, these guys do more than just scare they make you feel like you're stuck right there with the crew. If you're looking for some scares this Halloween, this film is for you!

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