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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another movie I ended going "I need to own that DVD!"
Of the original After Dark Horrorfest films, only two of the eight were any good in my opinion. Those two were Unrest and The Gravedancers.

Although a lifelong horror movie fan, I don't recall anyone using this particular plotline before. Dancing on graves makes the spirits furious? It's so intuitive, but somehow, either no one else picked up on it, or I just...
Published on April 28, 2009 by Amber

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love it because it is cheesy... hate it because it is trying not to be cheesy
I bought this movie because I really enjoyed some of the stills of the neat way the ghosts look. I then started watching it.... All actors are fairly decent except for the guy who plays the Oafish friend.... he is god aweful. It then starts as a typical cursed by ghosts, ghost story. The sound design all around for this is actually excellent. Reminded me a lot in the...
Published on March 28, 2007 by David Roberts


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another movie I ended going "I need to own that DVD!", April 28, 2009
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Of the original After Dark Horrorfest films, only two of the eight were any good in my opinion. Those two were Unrest and The Gravedancers.

Although a lifelong horror movie fan, I don't recall anyone using this particular plotline before. Dancing on graves makes the spirits furious? It's so intuitive, but somehow, either no one else picked up on it, or I just missed those movies. The way the writers handled this story was fantastic! The movie started slow, but once the three had committed the offense, the pace picked up VERY quickly. Everything moved in a pretty fluid manner with some genuine scares along the way. The actors were great in their roles and their reactions were believable. Good dialogue too. The CG was a bit crappy at times, especially when we saw the kid at the climax, but the special effects in other areas made up for that.

I have many criteria for what makes a good horror movie. Besides the usual acting/dialogue/pacing/effects/scares, I also look at two other things. If I end the film going "That was awesome! I want to see it again!", then that is a high mark. If I end it announcing "I'm going to have to buy this DVD!", that's the highest mark. And if I can watch it multiple times and see some different nuance each time, then I am totally sold on the film. All three of those criteria were met with this film. I saw it, had to own it, and I get something new from it with each viewing. This is one of the favorites in my collection.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love it because it is cheesy... hate it because it is trying not to be cheesy, March 28, 2007
By 
David Roberts (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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I bought this movie because I really enjoyed some of the stills of the neat way the ghosts look. I then started watching it.... All actors are fairly decent except for the guy who plays the Oafish friend.... he is god aweful. It then starts as a typical cursed by ghosts, ghost story. The sound design all around for this is actually excellent. Reminded me a lot in the beginning of the original House on Haunted hill where they use lighting and sound to create a mood.... Was really starting to like it.... then they start using really cheap looking effects. You can do alot with cheap effects using the afformentioned sound and lighting but these just looked horrible.... and not in the Evil Dead (pseudo-comedy awesome sort of way). One effect of a small ghost was so obviously a latex mask it was laughable. If you watch the extras where the director talks about making the ghosts... they only did up to two revisions max of the ghosts and the macettes (sp) were actually much cooler then the final products (They really screwed up the finals with the eyes).

The ending was so horrible and went in a terribly cheesy direction...(slight spoiler alert) including slam dunking skulls with cheesy catch phrases. Watch it for it's cheese factor, but don't let the beginning actual dark horror movie atmosphere lead you to believe it will remain that way.

BTW... has anyone else noticed how much one of the Ghosts rips off Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy Video (done 10 years ago! And much creepier to boot)
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, iffy in parts, but overall fun, March 6, 2007
I tend to be pretty critical of films that suck. Luckily, this ain't one of them. I can admit that there are some issues with the film (mostly due to budgetary constraints), but overall I was very impressed with the film's premise, a couple FREAKY scenes (especially a bedroom scene with the main girl coming out the shower...you'll see it and it'll make your heart race), the performances, and the movie overall. Pretty enteraining, and worth a view or two.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't totally suck or impress, June 28, 2007
Last November, a hefty marketing campaign was launched at targeting horror film fans. Specifically, the "HORRORFEST 8 FILMS TO DIE FOR" campaign, which purported to distribute horror films whose content was allegedly so extreme, that their releases had been hampered for general audiences. The marketing campaign was creative but not a wholly underivative concept. Back in 1999, the advertising for the quasi-pseudo documentary "The Blair Witch Project" had grabbed national attention and even blurred some people's understanding of whether the subject was fictitious or an overlooked and obscure local incident of supernatural phenomenon. This may have been one of the most brilliant and effective advertising campaigns for a film which was itself remarkably unremarkable. In fact, this "crockumentary" was not a scary film or even a very good one. It made a lot of money and pissed off a large number of people who felt ripped off or mislead. Not surprisingly (though perhaps wisely), the `makers' of "The Blair Witch Project" had pretty much dropped out of sight and mind after their whirlwind of publicity; in effect, they made their money and skedaddled (which was fine with me). Although according to IMDB, they are again directing films after a 6 or 7 year absence.

Now where was I? Oh, yeah... the 8 HORROFEST FILMS TO DIE FOR BLAHBLAHBLAH: an effective series of commercials which used a montage of trailer scenes and haunting noises and eerie narration which was broadcast in fairly heavy rotation. The clips were skillfully put together as to feature abridged footage briefly enough to be intriguing yet remain slightly ambiguous. The foreboding narrative claims seemed believable, and in combination with a pretty decent website and an imaginative touring itinerary where certain films were available in certain cities on certain days, many people no doubt believed they had unfettered access to a collection of cinematic taboo. However, many of us pretty much figured out what was going on and what would be the end product (and reaction).

The truth is that these films were not really any more graphic or violent or scary than the films which were getting distribution through Theater or Straight-to-Rental releases. Granted, these were better-made films than many or most of the marginal work that can be found in the latter S-t-R category, but ironically some lesser films actually have more explicit content as a way of trying to make themselves more marketable and to compensate for their lack of production values. The resulting opinions about the films of this collection, according to the customer reviews and other forms of feedback, have not been overwhelming favorable.

Hard-core horror fans have 2 things (psychology notwithstanding) which makes them a difficult demographic to impress: The first is a fairly high capacity for gore and violent content; the second is an increasing gradient of expectations. These contribute to a rather challenging threshold for terror and fright, which most of the time is not satisfied. Among the featured films of the package, there were stratifications between the stronger films and the less impressive efforts. Where preferences began to form depended as much on the individual audience member's own psyche and the visual effects proficiency, according as the film's budget production values.

Of the films in this highly touted but ambivalently received batch, THE GRAVEDANCERS tends to be regarded as one of the better films (or less vilified films, if you prefer). To its credit, THE GRAVEDANCERS has the strongest (or most recognizable) cast which features Dominic Purcell (BLADE 3: TRINITY, and the TV series PRISON BREAK), Tcheky Karyo (THE PATRIOT, and THE CORE), and the very lovely Josie Maran. Purcell is not an especially strong actor (but the Mrs. really likes him, so it allows me more latitude in my admiration for beautiful actresses, some of whom are occasionally naked, though not really in this film). This movie also has the most intriguing and creative storyline plot of the group, whereby drunken revelry following a friend's funeral leads to dancing on the graves of 3 particularly malevolent spirits, provoking their supernatural ire (see, the Baptists were right all along about drinking and dancing). As a result, the trio of friends are plagued by terrible (and occasionally violent) encounters and visitations from these spirits, which are revealed to be from an underage serial arsonist, a jilted mistress-turned-axe murderer, and a brutal rapist/killer. Eventually, the friends come across an `expert' of sorts (Karyo) who informs them of the nature of their ghostly dilemma.

From there, the protagonists efforts to resolve this supernatural quandary contains one minor twist but is otherwise fairly easy to follow (if not predict). The acting is mediocre overall (subpar in some cases), and the special effects were light, although the evil spirits were somewhat spooky and even startling. The film isn't bad, but it is danger of disappointment via the very same marketing strategy (overhype and oversensationalizing) that made it so recognizable more than it likely would have been being released on its own. That's the trade-off Lionsgate was willing to make between increased revenues versus audience satisfaction. I wouldn't expect the next HORRORFEST (if it is to be held) to be as successful.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted potential, August 11, 2007
The series of films carried under the After Dark Horrorfest all appear to be loaded with serious potential, and The Gravedancers is no different. Prison Break's Dominic Purcell and hottie Josie Maran play old friends who fall under a curse after a night of drinking and dancing in a cemetery following a friend's funeral. Soon enough, Purcell and his wife (Clare Kramer, better known as the villainous Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), along with others, are violently haunted and stalked; all of which appears to be leading somewhere good, but finishing up with a non-sensical story, and an incredibly underwhelming ending that betrays everything that was set up before it. There's isn't a whole lot of blood and gore to be found here, but the moody atmosphere and creepy, suspenseful direction works well for the first third of the film, but sadly, everything ends up falling apart. It's sad because The Gravedancers starts out so good and it ultimately fails as it goes nowhere. It's worth checking out though for horror fans to be sure (you could always certainly do much, much worse), but all in all, The Gravedancers is one of the more disappointing films in the After Dark Horrorfest series.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great premise, lousy ending, February 16, 2007
This is one of those films which draws you in with an interesting premise, some good chills, cool physical effects and then WHAM! spends the money on bad and unrealistic CGI. (WIthout too much of a spoiler:) The end should have gone in a different and much more effective direction and satisfactorily concluded them film, but no! the audience gets cheated with an ending that has almost nothing to do with the rest of the film. Did the producers re-shoot the ending? Give the company some extra bucks to pay for CGI, regardless of whether or not it was needed? If you hated the HAUNTING because of the bad CGI resolution, then stay away from this film
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another After Dark blahfest., May 30, 2008
The Gravedancers (Mike Mendez, 2006)

When a movie starts out with the name of the cemetery misspelled, you know you're in big trouble. Well, it doesn't actually start out that way, per se; there's an opening scene that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film. So now you have two indications that you're in big trouble. Add in that this was one of the films from the much-vaunted and entirely underwhelming After Dark Horrorfest, and, well, strike three, you're out.

The Gravedancers is about three idiots who reunite after some time apart at the wake of a fourth idiot who was one of their college buddies. The three idiots in question are Harris (Prison Break's Dominic Purcell), who's now married to the somewhat shrewish Allison Mitchell (Clare Kramer, recently of The Skulls III); Kira (Van Helsing's Josie Maran, who will probably be best remembered as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars), with whom Harris shares a tumultuous past affair (about which Allison knows); and Sid (Edmond's Marcus Thomas), who just doesn't know when to keep his big trap shut. After the wake, the three of them head out to the graveyard, get drunk, and dance on graves. As if this isn't muddleheaded enough, they happen to be in the section of the cemetery that houses undesirables, and they scare up three really, really nasty ghosts. To help with their haunting problem, they turn to parapsychologist Vincent Cochet (Tcheky Karyo, easily the best thing about this movie) and his perky, yet mysterious, assistant Culpepper (Megahn Perry). From there, it's special effects central, of course.

As with the rest of the After Dark movies, this one has about as many scares as your freezer (if you keep it clean). To add to the fun, this one also has some really terrible acting (many folks have already pointed out how unintentionally hilarious Marcus Thomas is throughout the film; his acting even occasioned an entire thread in the movie's IMDB forum), bargain-basement special effects in the movie's climax, and a script that went as far as it possibly could in both cliché and predictability. Skip this one. *
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mild at best, April 4, 2007
By 
Geminiguy (Bloomington, IN) - See all my reviews
Yes, this film had a good chill scene... and the ghosts looked freaky as hell. Of course, that wore out when they continued to show up and their resemlance to the Gothic line of Dolls become overly evident. Aside from a well executed scare scene involving one character sleeping and the other comming out of the shower, this movie was flat and a little boring. The acting was ranged from dreadful to mildly serviceable but good acting wouldn't have mattered much paired with a script such as this. Do not get me wrong, the premise is pretty wicked and when things start going south for the grave desicrating perpetrators it is pretty creepy. But when a ghost hunting duo enters the mix, it goes from bad to worse in seconds flat, most evidently when one of them does a selfish act that pretty much seals the fate of everyone else. The only one murder scene was really gory, while the others seemed a little off. A scene in the hospital was way off base with the reactions of onlookers overshadowing the onslaught occuring in the other room. Many of the characters are stupid in this movie... and in typical horror fashion, do one thing when they should so obviously do another. Still, all critical views aside, this film isn't a complete waste... and it isn't the most aweful horror film I've ever seen... it is just a little bland. With a headliner like "After Dark horror Fest: Eight movies to Die For" I kind of expected a little more bang for my buck...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad. No other way to describe it., June 27, 2010
Boring. Clare Kramer = low-rent Katherine Heigl, and that isn't any kind of complement to either of them. The dialogue is bad, the main characters are a drag. The professor and his assistant are the only remotely interesting members of the cast. The middle third of the story is somewhat interesting - I won't give any spoilers because if you watch this, you deserve what you get - but the ending is very, very stinky, for lack of any better terms that don't involve expletives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1.5 STARS: I wanted to like this movie, but it let me down., December 30, 2012
By 
HorrorMan "HM" (The Marsten House) - See all my reviews
"Gravedancers" started out well, but, ultimately, it went south for the winter before it was all over. This movie is about a group of old friends who lose one of their own due to an unfortunate car accident. So, what do our stupid friends do to celebrate his life? They go out to the cemetery at night after the funeral, get drunk, make out and dance on some graves like the idiots that they are.

Well, strange things start happening to our group of idiot friends. Strange occurrences indicative of paranormal activity begin to plague our so-called protagonists. It is up to these friends to figure out what is plaguing them before things get worse. In theory, this seems like a good plot, and it kind of is a good plot. However, the acting was a mixed bag, but was barely adequate for this type of movie for the most part notwithstanding some glaring weaknesses, and the execution was severely lacking, and at times, it was downright awful. With that being said, the movie generated some atmosphere in the beginning albeit rather to a small degree, however the movie was unable to build on this early atmosphere and suspense that it had initially created.

Ultimately, "Gravedancers" goes "cheesy" (as another reviewer pointed out) with special effects and as the movie dragged on, it seemed to lose steam and just fizzle out like a firecracker that turns out to be a dud. But, unlike the aforementioned reviewer, I hate "cheesy" when it comes to horror movies. "Gravedancers" failed to deliver on early promise and simple could not hold the atmosphere and suspense that it had initially created due to poor plot execution, "cheesy" effects, poor direction, barely adequate acting and a script that quite frankly went bad in the second half of the film. Incidentally, this movie ended in a pathetic way as it seems that the director simply got lazy with this movie and decided to go cheese with the climax and the movie's pathetic conclusion. All and all, "Gravedancers" is a true disappointment of a film as it did have some potential, but it simply did not materialize and ultimately the movie just became lamer and lamer, and when it was supposed to climax, the creators of this movie simply failed in a miserable way.
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The Gravedancers
The Gravedancers by Mike Mendez
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