Grave Encounters (2011)★★★☆☆


While the concept of this film is reasonably interesting (though not terribly original), it never quite falls into place. Everything feels just a little bit off. It’s watchable, but nothing special.

It starts with an introduction from a character we only see for the first minute. He might be my favorite character out of the bunch (okay, maybe the gardener is actually my favorite character). Everyone else starts off whiny and entitled and goes downhill from there.

Which is okay, because by the time they get locked into the asylum you want them to experience something terrifying (perhaps in the hope it’ll shut them up). Unfortunately the movie takes a long time to make that happen. And once it does, it feels weirdly drawn out, like the entire second half of the film somehow drags on despite all the action.

Worst of all, the found footage format backfires here. It makes sense conceptually but because it’s low-resolution night-vision (or normal vision with low visibility) you can’t really see enough for the scary scenes to pack much of a punch. So you get to hear all the screaming and yelling but can’t see much of it.

It’s just okay overall, but the story itself has enough intrigue to leave me interested in its sequel. I can only hope it’s got a higher production budget and better lighting.