Grave Encounters 2 – 2 out of 5
Even though I gave the first film a 3 out of 5 (a.k.a. my average score), I still really liked it. It’s significantly better than most “found footage” films I’ve seen, the acting was really good, the film wasn’t afraid to have a little fun and make light of ghost hunters, and, even though it didn’t really scare me, the film has a great creepy atmosphere. Needless to say, I was surprised by this film. However, it’s sequel? Not so much, sadly.
|Okay...I peed a little bit in pure terror.|
In the reality of this franchise, the film that is Grave Encounters really happened and the movie was released for the world to watch. Vloggers all over the internet open the story by giving their reactions to the film, some of them saying it looks really fake while others probably talked about how it was a false flag thing orchestrated by Obama. One vlogger, a film student named Alex Wright (Richard Harmon), is convinced the film was real and is out to find more information about those who were in it. After being reached by a mysterious person on the internet who claims to have some important info, Wright decides to make a documentary film about the actors who disappeared while making the movie. He takes his stoner buddy Trevor (Dylan Playfair), his love interest Jennifer (Leanne Lapp), and two fellow film students; Tessa (Stephanie Bennett) and Jared (Howie Lai). They make their way to the abandoned psychiatric hospital and are horrified to learn what the cast of Grave Encounters learn…this shit is real and there are demons, ghosts, and all kinds of creepy shit that wants them and will not let them leave until their demands are fulfilled. Inside the hospital, Wright is shocked to find the actor from the first film, Lance Peterson—Sean Rogerson, himself—is still alive and has gone mad living in the haunted hellscape. He claims he knows how to escape the inescapable hospital but doing so means giving the hospital and all its tormented souls in it what it wants…more souls for the taking.
|Try to control yourself as they discuss the logistics of making their documentary!|
|So...Lance Preston just became the Gollum of the |
haunted hospital, didn't he?
|Shit, the film just turned into Paranormal Activity. I shouldn't have brought|
up that series. It's my fault.
|The PTA must have disbanded.|
|One ghost is pushing her down and another is doing that dangling spit|
thing to her. Ghosts are bullies.
Aside from the turn that I didn’t dig in the story (and didn’t dig in a big way), the acting is good and the characters, although not very deep or developed—especially Tessa and Jared, they just kinda show up out of nowhere—the actors all did their jobs well. Admittedly, Richard Harmon does look like he’s trying to Emo-mug the camera every chance he gets…
|"Wanna hear my Morrissey covers?"|
|"Can I read you some of my poetry?"|
|"My parents don't understand me."|
|Is this one of those YouTube videos where someone|
is filming themselves singing?
|Never mind, I don't want to see him. I'm too jealous of those abs.|
A big improvement on the film is the fact that there is a lot more ghost happenings...and I don't mean like you can't see them but something just moved type of ghost happenings. I'm talking about actually seeing the horror take physical form and it's ready to come and scare the shit out of you type of ghost happenings. If you remember, that was one of my complaints from the first film. However, the arrival of this seems to take away from the atmosphere that the first film did so well as too much of the activity in the film is as follows: Sees Ghost/Ghoul/Demon-thing, runs away from it with lots of shots of them screaming and occasionally a glancing shot over the shoulder to see if the thing is still following, and then hide in room and/or closet where, mysteriously, the thing stops chasing them. While it is cool seeing more ghosts show up, the repetitive formula of their arrival and ensuing shenanigans makes the film feel like it is on a loop and isn’t really ready or willing to do anything different.
|"Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior Satan?"|
While my 2 out of 5 may seem like a bad score, I’ve never really seen 2 to be that bad on my spectrum (it’s those 1’s and 0’s that are bad). A 2 always means that the film may not have delivered a completely working or engaging film but did have a lot of potential, promise, or numerous working elements. Grave Encounters 2 does a lot right but it also came up short on enough things that it didn’t deliver the way the first one did.