Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) and the crew of “Grave Encounters”, a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside an abandoned Psychiatric Hospital. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. The film is introduced and viewed in the format of ‘found footage’, a trend popularised by The Blair Witch Project, and recently utilised by films such as [REC] and Paranormal Activity. All the shots are from unmanned fixed cameras or shaky handhelds, where the quality is often deliberately poor and grainy.
First, lets be clear: this film is nothing original. It has borrowed its concept, plot, effects and production from a selection of recent horror movies, dusted them off and patched them together on a modest budget. The acting is decent, there is terrific on-screen chemistry between the characters and you can relate to the crew’s group dynamics within the first few scenes. The beginning of the movie has a fun, almost tongue in cheek undertone, then gracefully moves the crew into a decidedly creepy setting, successfully managing to build a good measure of suspense as it does.
However, Somewhere in the middle it looses its edge, becoming repetitive and in places, boring. The ending becomes predictable and unsurprising far too early in the story for it to retain the viewers full attention. The film isn’t going to win any awards and will probably go largely unnoticed, but if you want something enjoyable and you’ve already made your way through all the notable horror movies currently out then this will probably be entertaining enough.
This movie is directing debut of Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz, otherwise known as the Vicious Brothers. The DVD will be available in the UK in November 2011.
Our Rating: 5.5/10