Grave Encounters 2 manages to move beyond being a found footage film and delivers some serious scares and an interesting story at its Toronto After Dark screening.
Convinced that the film Grave Encounters is real, film student Alex Wright (Richard Harmon) attempts to find anybody who was involved with the film. The only things he can come up with are missing persons reports. Determined to find out the truth behind the film, Alex convinces three of his friends to travel to the asylum in Canada where Grave Encounters took place.
While the first film was too generic to truly entertain, the second one takes the idea of a found footage movie being real and makes an entirely new movie out of it.
That may sound a bit confusing, but it’s a fantastic idea to base this feature on. The movie opens with various vloggers reviewing Grave Encounters. Some don’t like it, some think it’s the most frightening film ever. The last review comes from Alex Wright, who isn’t really impressed with the film. A film student himself, Alex is attempting to make his own horror movie, something that nobody has seen before. When a mysterious message on his YouTube account suggests that Grave Encounters wasn’t a movie at all, but a real event, Alex becomes obsessed with proving this. At this point, Alex and his friends head off to the asylum where Grave Encounters was filmed, and find themselves caught up in the same situation.
We’ve all wondered what would happen if one of these films were actually real, but John Poliquin takes it a step further and makes another feature film about it. I wasn’t exactly blown away by the first film, but Grave Encounters 2 manages to jack everything up. The scares are better, the idea is bigger, and the majority of the acting is better. There are a few moments that seem too familiar, and it seems like it takes a long time before the new group actually gets to the asylum, but once there, things get ugly real quick. Writers, The Vicious Brothers, throw some great twists into the movie, and viewers will find themselves fooled more than once. If you enjoyed the first film, this one will entertain you even more.
There is at least one aspect that most viewers will find annoying, and that’s the performance of one character. It’s so over the top and ridiculous that it completely takes you out of the movie. It’s possible to find a reason why they would act like this, but that doesn’t change how obnoxious it can become. Eventually, the character starts to level out, and by the end has become great again. It’s just a jarring moment in the film that seriously threatens the success of everything before it. Despite that one problem, the film manages to be entertaining. John Poliquin has managed to outdo the first film and even give a tired concept some interesting twists.
Under the marquee – Will