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Sunday, October 7, 2012

[5.00/10] Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Brief review: After 2011's "Grave Encounters", The Vicious Brothers join forces with first-time director John Poliquin to deliver a sequel, that complements the original. Or does it? Sadly, Poliquin fails to take things to another level due to his and his writer's lack of creativity, as "Grave Encounters 2" rests entirely on the concept, plot and setting of first film, and therefore feels contrived and, ironically, uninspired. Furthermore, both the filmmakers and the obsessed protagonist try hard to constantly convince us, that the first film is actually a real footage, but that never seems to work. Since the action takes place in the exact same location as the original, it often feels like you're watching the same movie, but on the other hand, the eerily abandoned psychiatric hospital continues to be one of the most terrifying places ever put on film. The movie is filled with jump scares and sudden shocks, and though cheap, those are fairly effective. It also offers loads of ghastly (and ghostly) images that might give you nightmares, and even dares to rip-off the creature from "[REC]" to a certain extent. The director demonstrates different variety of camera techniques, such as shaky handy-cam, black-and-white hidden cameras, static security cameras, etc, and that versatility prevents the viewer from getting bored by the very limited POV shooting style. The acting is pretty forgettable, with Richard Harmon taking most of the screen time.

Overall summary: The setting is still creepy, and the scares work for the most part, but "Grave Encounters 2" feels too familiar and repetitive, and relies too much on the success of its predecessor, plus, it's further let down by its messy, boring and often nonsensical third act.

This review is also featured on TVFilmNews.com 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bummer. The first one was very creepy and good for such a low budget film.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, this sequel feels more-of-the-same, but not necessarily in a good way. They shouldn't have made it in the first place.

Drew Grimm Van Ess said...

I'm not surprised you didn't like this one. I thought the first was decent,but I thought a sequel would be going straight down hill. I haven't seen this yet but when I do I'm not certain our views on it will be different. Great review!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Grim, I'm not surprised I didn't like it either. :) It felt like I was watching the first film, and though it was far from terrible, I thought they could have done a better job. Thanks, buddy. I'm looking forward to your review of it, to see if we share the same opinion. :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I haven't watched either, but must say it may be more than my creepy filter can handle. I do LOVE to be lifted out of my seat with a good scare, though.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Teresa, if you get easily scared by creepy stuff, avoid this one at all costs. :)

Unknown said...

Is this found footage like the first one? If so you know I probably won't be watching it LOL.

How are you? Wanted to stop by and catch up a bit. Is your White Cat review out for Dredd?

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Hey, Mel!

Of course it is. It's basically the same movie. lol.

Hon, my latest White Cat review is for The Possession, not Dredd. You can check it out on the site.

Unknown said...

Whoops! Sorry about the mix up. On my way over there now. :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

No worries, hon. Thanks for the lovely comment on White Cat. :)

HorrO said...

I hate when the sequel messes up the original. I haven't seen this yet, but heard bad things about it from others too. I still want to see it cause the original really surprised me. Wish me luck! Another awesome review!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

HorrO, I do too. This ended up being too similar to the original, and that's never a good thing.
Thanks, bud. I hope you like it more than I did. Looking forward to your review of it.

venoms5 said...

I saw the first film recently and thought it was great. Also, I found the approach somewhat fresh, despite certain supernatural elements obviously lifted from BLAIR WITCH.

I was debating on buying this one, too. I don't mind sequels playing it safe by doing more of the same, with a certain degree of deviation. I might take a chance on it, George. Solid review as always, my friend. ;)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

venoms5, I liked the first film, but didn't love it. There was still something missing for me, and the premise... well.. it wasn't particularly original.

This sequel is not bad, I just wanted it to be better than it was.
Just see it and decide for yourself, but don't rush buying it still. :)

Thanks, pal. My reviews ain't half as good as yours, so that means a lot coming from you. :)

venoms5 said...

You're quite welcome, of course, and thank you in return. Your reviews are well written and interesting, so don't be modest! If not for both you and Harry, I wouldn't have bought copies of similar movies such as THE TUNNEL and EVIL THINGS, as well as GRAVE ENCOUNTERS for that matter.

I find it refreshing when you don't always agree on the same things as it opens up for differing viewpoints; and cases such as this, you guys brought to my attention several titles I may not have ever shown interest in since I stopped buying all the horror mags several years ago. This is where blogs such as yours come in handy.

Personally, sites such as yours will better serve fans than mine will as mine is very random and built predominantly around obscure and under-discussed topics, titles and articles I wish to ramble on about at that particular moment. ;)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Compared to your reviews, mine are pretty lame to be honest, but thanks anyway. I always use this as some sort of excuse, but at the end of the day English is not my first language, so no matter how hard I try I, I can't be as good as writers and reviewers whose native language is English.

You bought Evil Things? Yay! And I thought I was the only person who loved this creepy little movie. :)

Thanks for the kind words! Seriously! I know I haven't been particularly consistent in leaving comments on your wonderful posts, but I visit your blog quite regularly, and I admire your style of writing and the way you analyze things. I'm kind of jealous for this ability of yours to be honest. :)

Unfortunately, me and Harry are not friends anymore, as we had an argument a few months ago, and since then we haven't speak to each other at all.

venoms5 said...

Well, you could of fooled me, George. Your English is much better than many others I've seen.

EVIL THINGS is one of those rare movies that works by what it doesn't show you, which, sadly, isn't preferred by most genre fans these days who want to see everything.

Don't feel bad, I have dropped off considerably myself in terms of keeping up with others blogs. With housework, taking care of three dogs, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, it is proving increasingly difficult to find suitable time to keep up with two blogs of my own and contributing to two others.

That's sad about you and Harry. I'm shocked, actually. Hopefully you two will be able to patch up your differences at some point or other. At least I hope so.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

venoms5, thanks a bunch. I really appreciate that. :)

Well-said! Evil Things was all about the things we can't see, and let us our imagination run wild.

I perfectly understand what you're talking about. It's hard to be a consistent blogger when you have so many things to take care of.

Well, we were getting along well in the past, but I doubt we'll be able to forget this argument and become friends again.