GRAVE ENCOUNTERS was a found-footage horror phenomenon that many people believed was just a movie. Film student Alex Wright is out to prove them wrong in GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2. Alex is as obsessed with the first film, as the 20 million people who viewed its viral trailer on YouTube. While he and his friends research the events and visit the real psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film, they find themselves face-to-face with unspeakable evil, banking on the hope that their knowledge of the original film will help them survive the sequel. (Synopsis from TribecaFilm.com)
A while ago, I posted a review of a movie I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of: Grave Encounters. When I heard that there was a sequel, I was so excited to see where this follow-up would take us. I had really high hopes, and they were dashed to pieces when the reality of the movie set in.
[SPOILERS] The beginning of the movie was one of the largest problems in the film. Watching about 20 minutes of drunk/high college kids at a party through handcams really, really became tired quick. I was left with a feeling of “I can’t wait to watch all of these kids die. And I hope they are horrible, painful deaths”. Even then, we had a pretty big fail overall. I understand why the film started out with the college party vibe. It hurt the film that there was such a focus on the partying and the arrogant behavior.
As a film student (Trevor Thompson) becomes more and more obsessed with finding the actual location of the Grave Encounters film, he starts looking everywhere for validation that the film was real. He watches Youtube, interviews Lance Preston’s (stage name) demented mother, and uses an unknown person (called Death Awaits) as a credible source of information. Yes, if you are thinking that this all is a stretch, it seriously is. Eventually, Trevor convinces his friends to drive to Canada to go to the abandoned asylum.
OK, I have to say that there were a couple of decent jump scares and creepy special effects, but these just didn’t make up for the obnoxious characters and lack of logical plot. Like the previous movie, the haunts all looked normal for a second or two, but then the mouth stretches open and the eyes go black. It is a creepy effect. The only downside is that there were only two scares that weren’t projected to the audience. One is the picture on the right and the other involves a small ghost girl chasing a member of the film crew through the heating duct work.
One effect that was supposed to come off as scary or creepy, but in all honesty was rather silly is the floating camera parts. It did not create a sense of horror or awe. It presented the audience with a very immature effect that almost felt like a gag.
As the film crew is slowly being whittled down to just a few, they stumble upon the body of the rat that Lance Preston ate and then they find Lance Preston himself (Sean Rogerson). Preston has gone entirely batshit crazy and, unbeknownst to the crew, possessed or controlled by the spirits or demons that live there. They promise him his release if he is able to finish the film. He goes a little more crazy and kills another cast member and then is swallowed up by an Evil Dead 2 inspired vortex in the wall.
Trevor ends up finishing the film after he uses his camera to beat in a girl’s face. It is the Superman of camera as it continued to film even as it smashed the girl’s skull. Trevor is released and the film is sent out into the world.
Overall, I can only give this movie a 4 out of 10. It was a poor sequel and I’m not going to recommend it to anyone except those who are die hard haunting/ghost movie completists.