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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Watch Paranormal Investigation Shows
This really is one of my favorite horror movies, period. The opening can seem a bit cheesy, but you'll notice the humor of it all if you've ever watched any paranormal investigation shows, especially Ghost Adventures. The opening montage for the show within the movie is ripped directly from Ghost Adventures and is one of my favorite parts of the movie. The thing I liked...
Published on December 19, 2012 by guy15s

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good "found footage" film
If you've watched even a few episodes of those paranormal phenomenon shows hosted by a moody, hardkor, spikey-haired white guy, and if you know how ridiculous they are, then you'll get a kick out of this parody film. I was a little skeptical going in, after seeing the gratuitous use of the "demon face morphing" software in the trailer. It's purposefully cheesy in parts,...
Published 23 months ago by Beanieweenie


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Watch Paranormal Investigation Shows, December 19, 2012
This really is one of my favorite horror movies, period. The opening can seem a bit cheesy, but you'll notice the humor of it all if you've ever watched any paranormal investigation shows, especially Ghost Adventures. The opening montage for the show within the movie is ripped directly from Ghost Adventures and is one of my favorite parts of the movie. The thing I liked best about this movie is that you're never really wondering why the characters are making so many stupid moves. They are genuinely trapped with no way out. They stick together when it's appropriate to do so, and split up when you would probably decide it was best to split up. The acting isn't great and a bit two-dimensional, but I definitely got the vibe that this was done to take a bit of a jab at the investigation shows it's taking a jab at. As things get more tense, the characters gain a bit more depth and, by the end, I can't guarantee that you'll feel connected to the characters, but there's definitely a great chance of that happening. All in all, a great movie but it does walk a line between taking itself seriously and not doing so, so I think you'll get a lot more from it if you don't expect much from it and just look forward to watching a really fun, well-crafted horror film.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start is a bit corny but finished quite nicely, September 10, 2011
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Well, to be honest, I was sort of skeptical of this movie. The beginning was a bit corny and cheesy. And the intro of Lance on Grave Encounters show reminded me of Paranormal State intro with Ryan talking. And a lot of the mannerisms Lance has seem to be from Ryan Buell.

Anyway, once you got out of the corniness, the movie really took you into the haunted bowels of the abandoned mental asylum. For the reminder of the time, the movie had me on edge to be honest right to the very end. Not many movies can do that to me but this one did. I highly recommend it for anyone fond of paranormal type movies without the gory, slasher details. Enjoy guys!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SCARY MOVIE, November 9, 2011
By 
This review is from: Grave Encounters (DVD)
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS is the first "video oriented let's pretend it's a real paranormal experience movie" that is truly frightening. Directed by the Vicious Brothers, the film slowly builds reaching a chaotic crescendo. The story follows the typical "dedicated" (to high ratings) film crew of a new hit GHOST HUNTERS-clone TV show called GRAVE ENCOUNTERS who are filming their sixth episode set in a creepy abandoned mental institution. They are locked in until six a.m. The following morning expecting typical paranormal cliches like strange noises or occasional cold spots. Fortunately for the viewer, we get much much more.
What sets GRAVE ENCOUNTERS apart is that the usually annoying jerky camera shots aren't overused and actually heighten the suspense. AND things actually HAPPEN instead of being covertly implied. This movie outshines the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchises or any of television's "reality" paranormal series.
Sean Rogerson (TV's HARPERS ISLAND) is quite effective as Lance Preston, the show's egocentric host.
Stylish and disturbing, GRAVE ENCOUNTERS sets a new standard in this genre's milieu.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Surprise in an Unexpected Genre, April 8, 2013
This review is from: Grave Encounters (DVD)
When one hears the words "Supernatural", "Horror", and "Found-Footage Film" in the same descriptor they do not prepare for a very exciting movie. By-and-large because of the low budget it costs to film one you're looking at anything between terrible and merely average, few reaching above this. So as a horror fan it was with no small amount of joy that about thirty-minutes into this movie I recognized this wasn't just a good example of how to do a film in the genre, it's THE example. It's the best found-footage film you'll ever watch bar-none and even makes solid headway into the legion of good horror films in general.

The secret? Multiple cameras, decent actors, mostly likable characters, and a distinct style that steps away from enough of the usual horror trappings to be unique.

I won't spoil much of the story and scares to be had beyond what you can see in five-minutes but suffice it to say one of the films strengths comes from its setting, a group of paranormal investigators "investigating". Some people note the beginning of the film as a weakness but I disagree as I felt it built up the characters just enough to care, without being overly long. And at the same time provided the backdrop for giving us the many fixed cameras, and orienting ourselves with who was carrying which mobile camera so that when the action started we aren't confused. Additionally all these cameras mean that we rarely get the "shakey cam" the genre is so well known for. Eventually things go REALLY wrong and this is again to the films unique credit, unlike a movie like Paranormal Activity the bumps in the night only last about ten minutes in this film, then you're treated to a full-on paranormal experience filled with malice and terror.

Beyond this there truly isn't that much story, settling for focusing on the characters descent into this hellscape and though it will depend on your opinion I did not find this a negative. Often a film can lose its horror if the story becomes overwrought or is simply bad, the directors of Grave Encounters realized this and don't give a lot of answers except for a few excerpts throughout, and one (glaringly bad to be honest) scene at the end. This allows them to instead focus on the increasingly fearful characters, most of who are acted with enough skill to make this a valid tactic.

Some of the actors are distinctly better than others but none of them are outright bad, with even the worst settling somewhere at average. The same could be said for the characters which is a massive boon for the film. The lead is legitimately believable as a host for a show and as a man scared out of his wits later on, as is the only female character even if her screams become a bit tedious even if they are warranted, the rest of the characters fall below them but a supposed psychic for the show gets special-credit for being distinctly non-psychic when the cameras stop rolling. The only lackluster character is one of the cameramen who moves further into denial the longer the film goes on, while a reasonable emotion to feel they could definitely have expressed this in a better way than yelling, "THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!" five-hundred times. He's definitely the movies one great and prevalent weakness. A nod goes to the "guests" for the show before they lock themselves in for the night that do a good job of locals unused to and slightly nervous in front of the camera.

Filled with tension, both from legitimate ambiance and jump-scares the film Grave Encounters is not to be missed. It will never get the attention it deserves but this is a textbook example of how one should do a found-footage film, and I most definitely suggest you watch it.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Grave Encounters, September 4, 2011
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This movie was really good. I am a horror fan who does not care for general slash and gore movies, it has to have some substance to it. This fit the bill for spooky. The sound track and quality was good, along with the acting. The "Ghost Investigators" bear a striking resemblence to a "Ghost Investigation" team which is currently airing on PBS. So, there was some tongue and cheek humor in it, and I found that amusing. But, for the most part it is a horror movie based on the supernatural and was really scary at times, more so than any other documentary style horror movie that I've seen. If you have small children please be advised that this movie will give them nighmares!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good "found footage" film, December 31, 2012
This review is from: Grave Encounters (DVD)
If you've watched even a few episodes of those paranormal phenomenon shows hosted by a moody, hardkor, spikey-haired white guy, and if you know how ridiculous they are, then you'll get a kick out of this parody film. I was a little skeptical going in, after seeing the gratuitous use of the "demon face morphing" software in the trailer. It's purposefully cheesy in parts, notably when the main character slaps on his "cool mysterious ghost hunter" facade. And he's absolutely dead on. Paranormal shows ARE this cheesy. It's when the scares get real that the cheesy farce falls apart and things get interesting.

There's scarcely a plot for the movie to cling to, causing it to lapse in places and feel longer than it actually is, but the gradual build up of scares is worth the slow moments. The characters, though unremarkable, are fairly likable and some even relatable (i.e. T.C. whose family background is briefly mentioned).

This review makes it seem like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel (with found footage films, you kind of are...), BUT I did enjoy it. Some of the creeps and scares were unexpected and the ending was a nice touch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two words to describe this: Guilty Pleasure, May 9, 2014
I should say that I do like Ghost Adventures (the show that this is a parody of).

With that being said the intro was hilarious to me. It perfectly mimics the show and delivers some great "off camera" gags too.

It sets up as a standard ghost investigation show and mid way through it all be comes a little more real then they expected.

Not really deep and basically the whole plot right there.

Few criticisms (mind you the movie stands on its own for what it is, so below is all personal opinion):

They did an awesome job at setting up a creepy WTF type atmosphere. I do wish they would have left more to the imagination. They basically show all the deaths of the people that die, which kinda takes away the mystery of the insane asylum. It would have been great to see someone get dragged into one of the rooms, the door slams shut and all you hear are screams and maybe blood dripping from out the bottom of the door. Hitchcock style where you use your imagination to scare you to death.
(Ironic: this is from a guy who doesn't even really like horror flicks).

This would have worked well in this movie because the asylum seemed so closed in. If applied, every room would have then appeared to be a death trap.

Enough with the angry black guy!! Damn seriously it's 2014 and we still need an angry black guy in every movie? We get it, he is there to add tension and whats more scary then a haunted asylum? Ah yeah an angry black guy of course. He already had a good story, a family man and a strong need to survive to get back to his little girl. He didn't need to be so abrasive, in fact, it was in direct contrast to how he was acting earlier in the movie. Playing football and laughing / sweet talking his baby girl. Yet he was the only one to lose his cool out of the bunch. *cough* cliche *cough*

More background!!!
I usually never say this about horror flicks because really who cares? But this setup was too sweet to leave alone. They gave a great setup to a mental health doctor who worked there but I seriously wanted to know more about the Asylum. Like had anyone else disappeared there previously. What's with the time anomaly? How where the tapes eventually found? (Maybe they said this one at the beginning but i missed it) and for pete's sake how did the rats survive there if all the food spoils?

All in all it's not the best picture ever but I think that I went in not expecting much and that's why it blew me away. Enough to watch it twice and write a review.

So Grave Encounters thank you for the Encounter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Creepy Film, May 7, 2012
By 
rareoopdvds (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Grave Encounters (DVD)
I actually thought this was gonna be a funny film making fun of Zak and the boys on the Ghost Adventures show. It opens with the premise of a guy who narrates our way into the "recorded footage". You see them pay off some guy to say there were ghosts, the theatrics they place to make the non-happenings as exciting. As the film progressed, I had realized they were not spoofing the show at all, but it starts to really get creepy. I think thats what made it scarier for me was that I was expecting to laugh.

But whats starts as little incidents of rappings, lights going on and off and the usual "what was that!?" hysteria. But then the s**t really starts to hit the fan and it becomes unrelentless. Some of the logic gets thrown askew for scare tactics, and if you are critical of the human response factor to a situation such as this, then it might take away some of the appreciation of the scares. The one criticism I have of ALL found footage film is the inability to let go of the camera for any reason. So much so that people will die holding it. I dont get the impression is used only for a light source.

It takes place in an abandoned mental hospital (of course!) And like all abandoned mental hospitals, bad things have happened there and have left an indelible scar upon its psyche. So, now the ghosts who were once patients run the asylum and are more mad than they were in life.

There are lots of cameras and I must have missed some of the set up, but there seems to be lots of angles besides the single camera.

The "apparitions" manifest are not really ghosts, but seems physical and demonic beings of a sort. So I am not sure what they are. Despite these logical loopholes, there are some very good special effects and a bigger budget is at hand than it might appear.

Overall, I found this a very good scare film in the vain of Paranormal Activity and the like, but I actually find this one scarier and unsuspecting. .Recommended!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise, December 3, 2011
This review is from: Grave Encounters (DVD)
I love horrors, but there are so many bad ones out there, even many of the much hyped 'better' releases can be a massive disappointment, so I wasn't over hopeful that Grave Encounters would be anything more special than a good B Grade horror, and maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much, I wasn't expecting anything, and found myself totally enjoying it. Ok the beginnings a little B Grade & an obvious take off of Ghost Adventures & I'm sure Zac & the boys just loved it, & I think they would also like the darker route the film started to go down once the lights went out, I know I did. There's plenty of scares, creepy moments & the actings not bad either. If you want to see an original horror then look no further as this ticks all the right boxes !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Eating Sour Candy, October 19, 2014
By 
Emanuelle (NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, US) - See all my reviews
Like eating sour candy. You KNOW what it is going to do to you and yet you still eat it. Some candies turn out to be disappointing and tangy at best. Some make you scream, cry, gag, clench your eyes shut and pray for the flavor to stop torturing you. And when it finally does, masochistic you NEEDS to have another piece.

I'm not going to go into what happens in the movie. I will share my experience though. i laughed, i yelled obscenities (much to my mother's dismay). I was stressed out. I screamed. I got teary eyed from fear. I choked on food that I stupidly attempted to eat while watching. I covered my eyes and peeked through my fingers which seemed to make matters worse. Horrifying...just horrifying. I love horror movies and I think I experienced my favorite one of all time today. When the movie was over and Amazon offered me Grave Encounters 2, i said aloud "oh god, there's TWO of them? Dear sweet baby Jesus..." and I took a deep breath and clicked play because I've been waiting for a TRULY sour piece of candy for a longgggg time...and now I want another.

If you like documentaries, ghosts and tongue-in-cheek humor, this one is for you. Just make sure you go pee first.
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Grave Encounters
Grave Encounters by The Vicious Brothers (DVD - 2011)
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