What’s it About?
A film student who is obsessed with the movie Grave Encounters sets out with his friends to visit the psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film.
Grave Encounters 2
Directed by John Poliquin
7 out of 10
This sequel, written by The Vicious Brothers, to the surprise hit “Grave Encounters” is a capable and effective follow up despite it not offering up anything new or terrifying. We get much of the same within the now over-done conventions of the Found Footage movie except with a Meta-Twist. The movie and the Vicious Brothers offers some new interesting points that explores some of the goings on of the first film.
It serves its purpose and broadens the mythos of what happened to the first Paranormal Investigative crew from the first GE movie. Despite an interesting set up though it becomes rather routine until it shows us towards the end that it can marginally keep us interested. It manages this because Sean Rogerson returns and he is not the same person he was in the first movie. He is in fact working in some demonic way for the restless spirits that inhabit the abandoned Collingwood Hospital.
Richard Harmon plays Alex Wright who is obsessed with the mystery and success of the first Grave Encounters film and wants to do a shoot with his current movie producer (Alex is actually doing his own horror movie) and crew. Alex is established as an up and coming horror film-maker himself and we get right in on the action as he directs his actors but seems to get either distracted or put off by his material and how the film seems to be coming along. Outside of this he is just some normal young dude (who of course wants to make movies) with goofy and geeky friends and they all like to party and get high.
The film starts off with a great meta-like opening that is funny and quite original. We get a dozen clips of horror fans and movie geeks going apeshit over Grave Encounters and doing vlogs and vids on the mystique of the movie. I totally dug the way the movie started. I felt it was quite different and very funny. Alex’s friends don’t quickly or completely buy into what Alex thinks is a real movie.
He starts to piece things together online with regards to Lance Preston’s (Sean Rogerson) disappearance and his background and past. Alex gets his producer friend Trevor (Dylan Playfair) to help him investigate Sean more in depth by seeking out his mother who is not quite all there.
The crew, this time with Alex’s and Trevor’s friends and colleagues in tow, head out to Canada where they attempt to visit the abandoned Collingwood Hospital (The name of the hospital is blurred out on a large sign for some reason) there, they run into an asshole of a security guard that really doesn’t want that camera rolling but yet it does. They manage to get back into Collingwood and then the fun starts.
Well sort of. Alex thinks that his superior knowledge of all thing GE will save the crew from the ghastly events. When the ghostly happenings begin they are very run of the mill scares that sometimes scare but mostly are telegraphed way before they happen.
I’ll keep the review Spoiler Free since the film is very new and many have yet to watch it. Rest assured there are women screaming and running, walled up corridors and a very cool scene involving “An Ethnic ” that is the first to go. Poor Jared. We hardly knew thee. We find out what happens to that asshole Security Dude. Another involves the elevator from the Hotel they are all staying at that I thought was genuinely cool but I saw it coming and if I saw it coming then just about everyone else will.
Things get really freaky when Lance (Rogerson) re-appears. We find out what the hell has been going on while he has been trapped inside the hotel. Lance appears to be batshit crazy and Alex and the rest try to understand what has been going on.
Seems like the Hospital has Lance doing it’s dirty work and in a brutal scene between Lance and Trevor we find out how bad things have become. At this point when we are nearing the end the movie then resembles Poltergeist in some ways and I could not help makes some comparisons to other movies. The film reaches a frenzied energy that works though even if it is redundant.
The actors are all fine but just barely. Some of the lines and acting come across as rushed and not very thought out. The camera work is well like all FF movies – very shaky but at times we do get the money shot when it counts. Towards the end there is a cool gimmick with multiple cams going at once that was pretty cool. The ghosts are rendered well and are a bit nasty to boot. They are always menacing and terrifying to watch.
The ending is very appropriate and of course sets us up for another entry from The Vicious Brothers. The film wasn’t all bad. Poliquin gives us more of the same which is not a bad thing here. I thoroughly had a good time with it and it flowed well and the set up did not annoy the shit out of me like recent FF movies I’ve endured. I actually was surprised at some parts but unfortunately the FF movies are all stuck in the same redundant conventions and I took some points off for that. But please do check it out. It’s a very refreshing entry in the FF genre just like it’s predecessor. Enjoy.
NOTE: Both “Grave Encounters” movies are available on Netflix Instant Streaming! Enjoy.