Monday, October 8, 2018

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2 (2012) movie review

Grave Encounters 2 (2012) d. John Poliquin (Canada/US) (95 min)

Grave Encounters, written and directed by “The Vicious Brothers,” was a fairly standard found-footage flick about a gang of wannabe reality-TV ghost hunters exploring the “infamous” Collingwood mental institution. It had a few scares and generated a bit of buzz, but was nothing exceptional in the pantheon of POV horror. The sequel (penned by the VB and directed by Poliquin) earns a few more points, adopting a meta approach by having our main character Alex (Richard Harmon), a video blogger and an aspiring horror filmmaker himself, review the 2011 original whilst mocking anyone who believes the onscreen events to be (scoff) real. (Shades of Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.) Of course, when he receives an anonymous online comment, insinuating there is more to the GE story than a simple low-budget venture, he rounds up his posse of insufferable film student pals and they head off to Collingwood to shoot their own documentary about the “maybe/maybe not” fictitious documentarians.

Be warned: the first hour is excruciating – positively everything you expect and despise within the found-footage format is laid out front and center: obnoxious characters, unjustified shots, winks and nods and chastisements about shoddy filmmaking, etc. Be further warned, once things start getting “interesting” (i.e. characters start getting killed and/or disappeared), it doesn’t get a whole lot better, but there are a couple of worthwhile surprises that make this almost, almost merit a viewing. (The scene where left becomes down being the clear highlight.)

I watched this purely on the recommendation of pal Kevin Matthews (the lone endorsement in the “hated it” wilderness) over at For It Is Man’s Number, and while I’m not categorically sorry I watched it, I’m not thrilled about it either. Be careful with those 7/10 scores next time, my friend!


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