Horror of Horrors: Grave Encounters 1+2
Welcome back my fiendish little ghosts and goblins! Arthur is here once again to spread some holiday fear and make sure you all have issues with sleeping at night. No……I’m not under your bed…..yet….but we’ll get there. Today is a rather off day for me, for in the process of hanging up some decorations for the coming holiday, I wound up smashing my head and nearly knocking myself unconscious. I know what it must sound like, but trust me, there is a plastic light fixture in shambles at this point because my head apparently destroyed it in the collision. Anyways, as I was drifting off into a land of sharp colors and bright pain…..yeah that sounds right…..I wound up surfing through Netflix in hopes of something to help me fall asleep, because that is exactly what you do after getting a slight concussion. I stumbled through the horror section, and scrolled across until I located a sequel to a movie I had watched and mostly hated over the summer. That movie, Grave Encounters, came out with a sequel titled Grave Encounters 2, and my originality meter was going through the roof. Shall we take a look? Oh god yes, at least long enough to make the pain go away.
Grave Encounters tells the tale of an asshole who hosts a show called Grave Encounters, oddly enough, and they are ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. More like paranormal impregnators! Right? Guys? C’mon, fives! Fuck ya’ll. The movie is exactly what you think it would be. The people enter an abandoned asylum, (which in all honesty, we need a new horrible setting to exploit, as we’ve seen enough asylums by now, although they still are creepy, something new would be nice,) and things start to go all batshitty. Obviously, when you enter an asylum, you are almost instantaneously transported directly to a version of hell created specifically for you and your crew. The main character and his film crew are torn apart and made to experience horrible things as they traverse the asylum. If there is one thing I can give this movie, is that the effects are actually pretty good. The ghosts and the beasties are pretty creepy, and they move in ways that shouldn’t be humanly possible. The mouths of the ghosts and creatures are actually really well done, as awkward as it sounds. Large black masses open where the mouths should be, as it looks like they all unhinge their jaws like snakes. It’s rather unsettling and scary for the most part, but the rest of the movie is just kind of messy at times. I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the characters, and the plot left me wanting so much more. However, this all gets addressed in the sequel, which is the main reason for this article. The sequel of this movie does something that is actually rather unique, albeit not the first to do so.
Grave Encounters 2 is a far better film than the first in my opinion, if only because they address all of the fan’s gripes and wants from the first movie. The opening scenes are pretty much a bashing and review forum for the first movie. We see some interviews from internet bloggers and critics bashing the movie and saying how it was terrible and whatnot, but we also get some of people who liked it as a palate cleanser. I loved this idea, mainly because it’s almost like a giant FUCK YOU to all of the people who bashed the first one. Fuck you we’re making another one, and we don’t give a fuck what you think, but we will call you out on it. Gotta love some old fashioned fuck yous. After the opening scenes of reviews and critics, we are treated to our new main characters, who are pretty much college film makers working on horror movies. Sounds close to home, right? Well it turns out that all of the people involved in the first movie, the actors that is, wound up dying in real life, which is to say that they died at the asylum, but someone has been covering it up very slyly. These new kids decide to investigate, because they did not have anyone to teach them wrong or right, and they are idiots. Off to the asylum!!
Once they get to the asylum, that is where the fun starts happening, and by fun, I mean they all start to get horribly murdered by the same ghosts in the first movie, but a bit more fleshed out in terms of plot. You kind of find out what they are, but not really at the same time. It tends to have a House on Haunted Hill sort of feel at some points, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is familiar. Certain things you can only really see with a camera, other things that don’t really make too much sense, and certain returning characters that have been crawling through sewers and chewing on rats as if they were trying to imitate Arthur Harkness. Flattery will get you everywhere. I have to be honest with you guys though, the second film was actually pretty enjoyable for the most part, albeit it definitely could have used some more work in certain areas. The plot was better this time around, and the characters actually felt like characters rather than lifeless dolls. I am not bashing the acting of anyone in the first film, although I probably should at some points, but it just seemed the characters were more alive in the sequel. I guess that doesn’t mean much though as they will all end up dead anyways HEEEYO! I kid, I kid……but seriously.
The first half of the movie is a bit slow paced as it takes a bit to finally get to the asylum, but once they do, like previously mentioned, shit starts to go bad. The funny part is that they all see this stuff happening, and instead of doing the standard horror movie stuff, almost all of them try to get the fuck out of there……until that prick of a main character says he needs to get those cameras, and in turn, winds up fucking everyone over so hard. Honestly, we should all do a census, and when asked a question along the lines of “ if involved in this situation, like Grave Encounters, would you have gone back to grab the cameras?” and anyone who says yes, should be sent to an island and shot a fucking hundred times in the face. The world has no need for people like that, and all you are doing is killing off the more intelligent(relatively) people in gruesome fashion. You should all be ashamed. This action, essentially ruins everyone’s day, and then things start to get worse for everyone involved. The ending, even though it is pretty decent, isn’t anything to write home about, but it was a lot better than the first one. It gave a sort of outside life to the film rather than just ending it in the asylum, and for that I have to give them some credit. I didn’t hate the second one like I did the first, and I honestly don’t know why I even watched the second one…..must have been the head injury, but like I said, I actually kind of enjoyed the sequel compared to the first. I mean granted, it’s not going to win any sort of award, but it is good for a single viewing on Netflix and then just sort of going on your way. No offense to the makers or anything, and I swear to Odin I’ll be so fucking pissed if I wake up in that asylum tomorrow. We all know Arthur rules the night, and in an asylum full of ghosts and creepies, all they would be doing is providing me more minions. I am low on foot soldiers, and these guys would be a great start. Suck it ghosts!!!
The thing with most horror movies these days is that for some reason, even though this went away a while ago, we are still getting hand/shaky cam/found footage movies. I don’t necessarily mind them, but it tends to give me some motion sickness when it gets too fast paced. Grave Encounters is one of these, but at least its dark and doesn’t have too many flashing lights or fight scenes, which is good. Not to go on a tirade here or anything, but I don’t understand it. I understand the creepiness aspect of it, and I am going to kill myself for saying this, but be more like paranormal Activity in this regard. Make it found footage, but make it static if possible. At least long enough for me not to throw up. Grave Encounters 2 was static, and maybe that is why I enjoyed it more than most other found footage films, and is a huge plus for me. Anyways, hopefully this sounds a bit more concise and thoughtful rather than rambling. Honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to properly write this due to the throbbing in my head, but for you guys, I’ll ignore it and do my best to bring you what you crave…..drugs…..I mean Horrors…..yes….Horrors. Enjoy!
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