Grave Encounters (2011)
Plot: In this horror flick, the stars of a paranormal-investigation TV show spend the night in a derelict psychiatric hospital, hoping to uncover what’s been going bump in the night. As their cameras roll, they find themselves trapped — and hunted.
My Review: Netflix users rated this one pretty decently, so I figured I’d give it a try. The movie starts off with a producer explaining how he got a video in the mail for a reality based ghost hunting show and that everything was going well until Episode 6. Which is the tape we are about to see.
Here it switches to “shakey cam” as everyone calls it these days, which wasn‘t that bothersome with this one, but it was annoying that the camera person kept zooming way in, and then out and back in. Anyhow we are introduced to the cast and crew of “Grave Encounters”. Lance, the host, Matt, TC, Sasha and Houston, the medium. They are outside an abandoned insane asylum. Which I thought was neat, I’m a huge fan of creepy buildings, especially asylums. Back in the day they really were tragic buildings. All the torturous things they did to the patients thinking they were healing them. Its awful. If any place was going to be haunted, its these abandoned buildings for sure.
However, I almost shut it off when the medium was introduced and started spouting about the possibility of demons at the mental hospital. I’ve had enough of demons and mediums in movies or shows like this. They just annoy the crap out of me. Maybe there are real psychics out there, but these guys give the (possibility of) real ones a bad name. This medium is ridiculous. He’s this tan old dude with a toupee of some sort, and he’s just silly. I was glad when all of the sudden they cut and two guys started laughing, it was all a set up. In fact, a little later on they show Lance paying off one of the workers at the asylum to say that he’d worked there for ten years and had seen a ghost. Sorta reminded me of the movie “The Last Exorcism” where the minister set up fake Exorcisms.
Some of it pretty humorous on purpose, so I liked that, it made me feel like it was sort of making fun of these reality shows like Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters and most especially Ghost Adventures. Sasha kept glaring into the camera every time they showed her in the beginning. Like she was trying to be all bad ass. It was most likely done on purpose, but for some reason annoyed me. That’s ok, she cries like a little bitch later (so would I!).
The group gets locked in the asylum, and sets up a room as their command center/meeting room. The caretaker of the hospital will let them out at 6am. So they are stuck there for 8 hours. They can’t get out because all the windows are still barred shut. So obviously we know something is gonna happen.
It takes a little while for the real ghost action to start. Sasha’s hair gets lifted up. Lance starts talking about how the ghost “manipulated” her hair. It was hilarious how he said it. And then he asked the ghost to manipulate his hair too. How about saying “MOVE“ instead of “manipulate“?!?! I seriously cracked up at the way Lance said everything in this scene. But then he turned into a whiny bitch begging the ghosts to do something. Nothing else really happens and they all head back to the main room, where they decide to pack up and wait for the caretaker to come let them out in an hour or so.
Before we know it time has flown by and the guy never shows up to let them out. This is when things start getting really weird. They are locked in and have no way of leaving. Time starts flying by, they realize that even though their watches say its daytime, the sun never rises. Exits lead to more hallways, and they can’t find a way out. People start going missing which I got confused about at one point, could be my bad memory, but I could have sworn one person goes missing twice without ever being found the first time around. A couple people just disappear before our eyes and its never explained what happened to them. In fact we never find out anything about the hospital. Something I don’t necessarily like, but they probably would have explained it stupidly anyhow. You just really have to roll with the flow of it because you’ll be asking your self “what the fuck is going on here” quite a lot in the last 20-30 minutes and you never get an answer really.
In the end, I’m not quite sure what I think about the movie. I wanted a good ghost movie, which just seems non-existent. But I really expected this to be utter garbage, and it wasn’t. So it’s a mixed bag for me really.
I’m curious what happened after the cameras stopped rolling…
Gore/FX: There isn’t much “gore”, there is a lot of blood in one scene, but no gore really. The ghostly images that appear in still photos they take look pretty silly, but thankfully the full bodied ghosts they show later don‘t look that bad, even with the CGI. It is better then I’ve seen some other movies do.
Sexual Content: Nothing.
Acting: It was funny at first that they kept “overacting” everything, but eventually that got annoying. Even when they discover rats in a room, they act like its so horrifying, and its only three rats on the floor. Come on, should have been expected in an abandoned building! Thankfully when shit hit the fan and they became scared it was like a whole different cast. They actually acted scared!
Overall: If you like your movies weird. I mean really weird. And you like ghosts and enjoy reality shows about hunting ghosts. You’ll probably get a kick out of this movie. On the other hand, if you like your ghost movies a little more serious and not so “out there” you might want to think about watching something else.