GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2: The Hughes Verdict!

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Written by:
Starring: , , , , ,

grave-encounters-2

FILM: Grave Encounters 2

STARRING:

Richard Harmon
Leanne Lapp
Sean Rogerson
Dylan Playfair
Stephanie Bennet
Howie La

DIRECTED BY: John Poliquin

WRITTEN BY: The Vicious Brothers

RATING: 18

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

 

THE HUGHES VERDICT!

Grave Encounters was a  film that divided a lot of opinion in the HCF Office.

Endless debate engulfed the office room between Matt and I, with our Chief News Reporter lavishing the praise on the film, while I dismissed it out of sight, saying it started it well but soon slipped into what I can only describe as pathetic.

You can guess having Grave Encounters 2 in my hand did not actually fill me full of joy. The thought of sitting down and watching the sequel made me feel quite sad because I was under the impression that my life for the next hour and a half was going to be wasted away on a follow up that I certainly didn’t want and what I thought the horror genre didn’t need.

For a quick recap on what the premise is all about, the original saw a TV crew filming a show called “Grave Encounters“, enter an abandoned asylum where rumours persist is haunted and of course they film their night stay. Think of “Most Haunted” but where something does actually happen and you get the idea of the premise. Before you could call Derek Acorah, the crew are terrorised by ghastly images of ghosts with long mouths, driven insane by rooms that were there and not, before finally being killed off one by one, while of course filming the whole thing.

Despite a good hour, the film transcended into farce, where the simple scares slipped into fantasy and for me personally, I got rather bored with it all. While Grave Encounters was no Blair Witch, having put on the sequel and now just finished watching it, I must admit that Grave Encounters 2 is no Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and I mean that with the highest compliment I can give.

 

You see and this to the shock horror of everyone, I actually liked this. Maybe it was because I went in with low expectations, but for me personally, Grave Encounters 2 is a much better film, in terms of plot, pacing and damn right good scares. Its not high art we watching, but its one of the better found-footage horror films I have seen in a long time.

What it does great is that it twists the whole original film on its head, something that Book Of Shadows threatened to do but did not have the balls to follow through. The first five minutes of that Witch sequel, saw a segment where people who had seen The Blair film try to go into the woods to find the witch themselves. It was a clever ploy that would have suited the film well before it all went down the cliche path and ended up with a stuffed owl smashing through a window…….groan!!!!!!!!!

Encounters 2 follows the same path but does not once walk off it. We start with clips of people who had seen the first film, many saying it was great, others poor, while a few moaning about how shit the end was. All are in agreement though that the film itself was all fake and that it was all just a film. Everyone including Alex, (Richard Harmon) a You Tube Film Critic who thought the film was shite! and sets out about to change the horror genre with his very own Slasher film.

Its while filming his very own film that he starts to receives emails from a mystery sender called “Death Awaits!”, and its from that mail he begins to discover that perhaps the events that took place was in fact real and convinces his film crew to abandon the Slash film and instead do a documentary about what happened to the Grave Encounters team.

The first hour is a brilliant construction of tease and self knowing. If you loved the original film then you can not help but marvel at the events that are unfolding, if like me and didn’t, you still get a joy at how clever the set up is. Yes you will shout at the TV screen with words like “Are you mad and stupid!”, but if this is now set in the real world, you can understand why some people would want to see for themselves if what happened, did take place!.

All the build up leads to the Film crew breaking into the very same Asylum and once in you know what to expect. This time though, while the original was awash with ghosts, the sequel this times takes a careful minimum approach, where build up is more important than in your face scares. Yes the spooks are still there for all to see, but they are used to a much better effect this time, where shock horror, actual thought has gone into the plot!

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, REC 2 and Room 1408 are three inspirations for the film, one where the actual TV producer of the first film talks to the camera , the second is where a returning character from the original turns up out of the blue (having lived on rats for the last few years) and also thirdly, the little twist half way through which sees the crew suffer the same twisted tease that Cusack suffered in that hotel room.

The last twenty minutes of “What’s behind the Red Door!” is a lot of fun, and with some nasty deaths and surreal plot threads that may surprise you, it has to be said The Vicious Brothers who directed the original, but only wrote this one, must be applauded for trying something different to their now cherished franchise and with John Poliquin showing a deft touch at times behind the camera, Encounters 2 is a daft but an enjoyable found footage horror that delighted my horror bones and thankfully……..did not have a stuffed owl in sight!!!!!

                                                                      Rating: ★★★☆☆

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About Ross Hughes 562 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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