Running Time: 95 minutes
Starring: Sean Rogerson
Directed By: The Vicious Brothers
Rating: 3 out of 10
A ghost hunting team films their overnight stay at an abandoned mental facility only to find they may not be alone.
Many of you probably have never even heard of this film. I was interested in watching it for a while as it had a solid trailer with over 23 million views on YouTube alone. Sadly the trailer was better than this movie ever was. The story follows a small crew of ghost hunters as they film their amateur television show called Grave Encounters. For this episode they find themselves at the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital. This place has had rumors of and stories of paranormal activity for decades and the Grave Encounters television crew is here to document such goings on. They decide to lock themselves in the Hospital overnight to try and catch any ghostly phenomenon on tape. The crew quickly realizes there may be more to these rumors than expected.
I was excited to watch another horror film shot in the found footage style. I know a lot of people say that if you have seen one you have seen them all but I fully disagree with that statement. A good director with a little style can make anything fresh and new. This was clearly not the case with this movie though. The film starts off with the crew arriving at the psychiatric hospital during the day and getting acquainted with the location. They tour the building and set up their equipment to catch any paranormal activities. They interview some people who are familiar with the Hospital including construction workers, a local historian, and a caretaker. It is the typical buildup to any movie shot in this style. The building itself is actually not that creepy during the day. When night hits though it is a place no one would want to be so it is a great setting for some creepy footage.. I usually am the first person to say I hate the cheap scare tactics like overtly loud sounds but I wish they used it more in this film. When things go bump in this film I literally got shivers. However they only used it a couple of times close to the start so I was disappointed in that regard.
The acting was solid to start the film but deteriorated quickly once things started to spiral out of control in the building. I found when they were filming the opening of the show the crew and people they were interviewing were quite believable. The way they portrayed not being perfectly comfortable on camera will come across as genuine and realistic. When things started to get a little scary and out of control in the building I found the lack of acting experience clearly showed. I found the actors to be forcing a lot of the dialogue and never really capture the true essence of the tense situations.
The film had a nice buildup of random scares and great camera work but never sustains this level for the whole movie. The building is full of many hallways and doors so there are great suspenseful scenes as a camera man slowly walks down the hall checking around corners. You always feel something is going to jump out at you. The first half of this movie really worked for me but not the second. It seems the directors must have read making horror movies for dummies. That is because the second half of the movie they literally try every cliché technique in the book. Never choosing one style this movie degenerated into a seen that before of horror films. Movies like Blair Witch, Gothika, REC and many more will pop up into your head as this film progresses. The building becomes tiring to watch as it is never changing. The scares become a jumble of unconvincing encounters and random blood. Then towards the end you will be literally exhausted from the terrible dialogue and predictable plot course. Instead of scaring you this film will hold your hand and guide you to an unsatisfying ending.
Directors the Vicious brothers have put forth a solid try with their debut film. They needed to keep more with the start of the movie and provide one main storyline instead of multiple side stories. The casting was decent for a low budget film and they did an okay job with this team. I found the camera work to be average at best. More scenes of individual walk throughs of this hospital would have worked better instead of the plethora of shaky camera work in a group setting. The film was super done before and the story and scares will surprise no one by the end. This film could have worked they just tried too many things to scare the audience while never succeeding.
I cannot give this movie my recommendations. It will cater to people who do not watch many horror movies besides that I would say just watch the trailer and you will get all you need from this film.
T Factor + If you have not watched many horror movies this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like found footage movies this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Quarantine, Gothika