Friday, January 18, 2013

Freaky Friday: Grave Encounters

I love the Travel Channel's GHOST ADVENTURES--although, it did take time to grow on me--and thought it would be perfect to do a horror movie based on the show's concept. The idea is a team of paranormal investigators, while staking out a possible haunting on their "lockdown", get much more than they bargained...a haunting of the horror movie kind.
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS beat me to it. The creator has obviously watched the show. The main actor, Sean Rogerson, nails Zak Bagans--the lead from Ghost Adventures--so well, he made me rolling from the start. The mannerisms and over-the-top personality are very similar. Ghost Adventures claims all the material they find as real and try to debunk anything to help with legitimacy. Grave Encounters, on the other hand, shows the lead Lance Preston (played by Rogerson) paying off a gardener for a ghost tale and then stating his skepticism. They also bring in a "psychic" who makes up all sorts of nonsense which they laugh over.
I see B-Class films in your future!
The movie starts like the show by explaining the location and interviewing locals and experts. They also explain different types of paranormal "evidence" such as EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), EMF meter (changes in electromagnetic fields), full spectral apparitions (ghosts), and psychic energy (self explanatory but "psychic" claims he feels energy--see above).
Before you watch the film, I would advise these two requirements: 1) Watch Ghost Adventures first. It is the only way to appreciate Rogerson's straight up hilarious impersonation of Bagans. 2) Be a fan of the found footage genre. If you're not, the shaky cameras and nonstop zooming will probably drive you nuts. Then again, even if you are a fan, it'll probably still drive you nuts, so fair warning.
The best part is you get to see some stuff the team can't. For example, when they take pictures or face the camera they can't see behind then, but the audience can. As J. Hubs said it's like a Where's Waldo of supernatural goodness. And a lot of fun!
As the lockdown comes to an end, things get more and more twisted. It soon becomes clear the team is not escaping any time soon. The first half is better than the second. Too many over the top scares takes away from the effect. If they had kept is subtle it would have been a much scarier and intriguing film, but still worth a watch.

Rating: C


  1. So is it still scary, or all parody? I'm a horror-film wimp--I've even gotten scared at those Ghost Adventures episodes! But they did tick me off when they visited Preston Castle, with some of the stuff they pulled. I've been there many times and I didn't feel like they treated it with respect. So to see a parody of that seems like a natural progression.

    1. It's still scary, but they go for more "making you jump" horror tricks than true creepiness. Certain scenes will be a little much, but if you just watch the first half before it all goes to hell, I think you'll enjoy it. So, my recommendation for you is to watch until the first crew guy disappears, then switch it off. The parody part is worth it!

  2. It can be annoying when you have a great idea then find that something similar has already been done! But sounds like an interesting movie. I've not seen Ghost Adventures, but we have a similar show in the UK (can't remember the name now). But I have a hard time taking it seriously. I do like the idea of these TV guys getting more than they bargained for!

  3. GRRR! It's soooo crazy how the same idea pops into multiple heads at the same time! This has happened to me, too often to count. Now when I get a new idea, I'm frantic to get it tapped out before somebody else does! :)

  4. I'm not sure about this one but it does sound like it might be fun to watch!