Grave Encounters (2011) [REVIEW]


THREE TIMES. THREE FUCKING TIMES I TRIED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE BEFORE FINISHING IT. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself by saying it was so awful that I couldn’t get through it, but every fucking time I tried to watch it I would be distracted during the first 30 minutes. I’d realize I had no fucking clue what was happening and shut it off in an outrage at my terrible attention span. Also, I was glad to have finally finished watching this movie, because I feel like practically any time I tried to look at ghost videos on YouTube, the trailer for this movie would pop up, and I’d NEVER watch it. The freeze frame picture or whatever was that ghost with blacked out eyes and mouth, and I figured it was either super awful or that it was some movie that could only be watched on YouTube. At least it came out for people to see? Good job, guys! That’s more than can be said for The Poughkeepsie Tapes!


Bro, you’re wearing a shirt of the show you’re on? Didn’t Jeremy Piven teach you ANYTHING in PCU?

Grave Encounters isn’t only the name of the movie, but it’s also the name of the ghost hunting show that characters disappeared while trying to film. In fact, the footage is SO real, the producer of the show even gives a disclaimer to the audience about how real it was! It was recovered and edited together for time. When we see the footage, we learn that the “paranormal investigators” were in an asylum that was supposedly haunted. They interview people, get establishing shots of everything, set up their equipment, and you also learn that they are either paying people to make up the stories of hauntings or bringing in actors to pretend like they are psychics detecting supernatural forces. After locking themselves into the asylum, that’s when wacky things start happening. Objects moving on their own, people being harmed by unseen spirits, so when the investigators realize something actually is happening, they try to leave. Remember that locked in part? Yeah, they’re fucked. No matter how many hours pass, the Sun never rises, and the food they brought spoils. They follow hallways and doors to exits, but they can’t get out, and are disappearing one by one. Eventually, there’s only one left, who’s only able to survive by finding and eating rats. He finds a door, which he thinks will help him escape, but instead, he finds occult books, candles, pentagrams, and spirits of the hospital’s former staff performing procedures. The tape goes blank and the credits roll.


THIS IS THE THING I SAW A MILLION FUCKING TIMES! See, it looks somewhat interesting, right guys? Guys? Hello….?


…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz OH WHOOPS FELL ASLEEP THERE FOR A MOMENT. Now I know why it was so hard to get through this movie. Before you get too cranky, there actually were some things that I found enjoyable. One of those things was that it seemed to be directly mocking the show Ghost Adventures, through its use of super-annoying, abrasive douchebag investigators. Them with their gelled hair and blazers over t-shirts, thinking they’re so cool, but just look like asses. Good job on that one, Grave Encounters! I think the reason this movie was so boring was because it borrowed so much from other movies we’ve seen before, so it was just kind of bland. Although, from my understanding of what I saw, it did seem like they chose interesting elements to borrow from movies to make it just slightly better than absolute dogshit. The idea of filming one thing for a TV show and having a different, more fucked up situation arise reminded me a lot of [REC]. It felt like the filmmakers just said “Let’s make [REC] but with ghosts!” I can get behind that, in theory, so I can’t bash them for taking cues from a movie I like. Another concept I feel they borrowed was the Dr. Satan character from Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. In the beginning of that movie, the characters describe all the terrible things that Dr. Satan had done, and it’s assumed that his ghost is up to some shitty old tricks, only to learn that Dr. Satan is still around in an abandoned mine shaft torturing new patients. At the beginning of Grave Encounters, we were told of a Dr. Friedkin (obviously a nod to the director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin) and all of his experiments on the mentally ill, only to have revealed at the end of the movie that he, or rather his spirit, was up to his old tricks. Again, it was an element of House of 1000 Corpses that I liked, but I think that bringing back a character introduced in the beginning, using a different kind of scare for the rest of the movie, then “surprising” the audience, who have been distracted with different kinds of scares, it all felt a little too familiar. I also kind of enjoyed the fact that the building itself seemed to try to keep them there by changing around on them, and the idea that days and weeks were passing inside the building but not outside of the building, which is different from most other found footage ghost movies. Unfortunately, it still felt a little stale, there were some awful CGI effects, but even borrowing good concepts from other movies couldn’t make this movie stand out.


Wolfman Moon Scale

Amazon DVD

One response to “Grave Encounters (2011) [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Grave Encounters 2 (2012) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

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