Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grave Encounters (2011)

I honestly miss the times I spent investigating the paranormal and unexplained (not to mention writing about it). Hopefully, once I finally get settled into Pennsylvania, I will find an organization close to my home that I can become involved with that will allow me to get back in the field (of course, I imagine Bigfoot hunting will come first with the head quarters of the PA Bigfoot Association just down the road). Luckily, I have stumbled upon a few ghost hunting related flicks at the local Family Video Store. One of those, Grave Encounters, may be one of the best paranormal themed movies I have seen in some time.

Plot/ Lance Preston and the crew of "Grave Encounters", a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted - it is alive - and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital's dark past...and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

Let me start by saying that there is nothing new in this movie, and that cliché is the primary downfall of the flick. However, I honestly never really expect anything truly groundbreaking anymore and never let that influence what I watch. The great thing about this movie is that those parts are easily overlooked between the great and creepy atmosphere, ghost hunting realism and perfect pacing with scares and thrills at just the right moments allowing tension to build throughout. Yes, the acting is uneven (except the psychic, who is awesome) and there are a few head-scratching plot elements that just seem out of place, but those flaws are rather minor. In the end, this is one of the best hand-cam paranormal horror flicks that I have seen, and I highly recommend it!

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