Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Grave Encounters 2 (2012) US/Canada

I hate sequels. I mean I really REALLY hate sequels. Especially when the original movie shouldn't have been made in the first place. I believe I really tore this one a new one when I reviewed it 9/14/12. Yes, I do need an index for just this reason - I had to Google my own review which made me feel - weird. You're not supposed to Google yourself right? Well in the interest of providing a good review to a bad sequel, I guess this time I'll excuse myself and get right on making that index. And finally in July of 2014, I'm working on just that. AND I have a confession to make: both GE movies were... just awful but when I want noise in the background and I'm not listening to music, these are on my regular rotation. You may scoff now.

Grave Encounters was a ripoff of every other movie of its kind. In fact for the first movie I said: 'I made a partial list of movies this rips ideas from: Blair Witch Project, House On Haunted Hill (the remake), House Of Bones, Cloverfield, Poltergeist, Th13teen Ghosts, and so on'. So why should the second one be different? Apparently The Vicious Brothers thought they got away with it once, why not twice? 

I tried to think of a simple way to describe how this movie goes down - got it. It's a very, very stale Oreo cookie. The beginning is that dry stick-in-your-mouth but kind of bleh cookie that you eat first, the middle is better but you've eaten it a thousand times before, and the ending is again... well, see the beginning.

Grave Encounters tried to be different by claiming to be fake but real. The sequel is telling us that this is real but fake. Uh huh. About the only thing I liked about the original is that since the whole thing was supposed to be 'unedited' you got to see how fake everybody was when they weren't 'on' - like the psychic who was an actor wanting to get his 'part' over quickly because he had a better audition somewhere else. That didn't carry you through the whole 'Wait, did it get cold in here?' stupidity but it was a little something.

So here we are redux. The 'real' producer is claiming that of course the whole thing was fake, duh it was a movie. And since it was 'found' where the hell did they find it? But no one can seem to find any of the actors or crew that worked on this 'movie'. 

We start with a bunch of wanna be movie critics like me except they're young so they don't mind voicing their opinions on YouTube. You do NOT want me to do that, trust me. So the reviews are mixed - some claim it was really scary yo' (sorry) others say it was total crap. One kid in particular, Alex (Richard Harmon, who you just want to punch square in the face the second you see him, and punch him again when he starts to talk), tears it up.

Yeah, I want to get my movie reviews from a lazy eyed kid with his hair in his face and his vocabulary stuck at words four letters long. He thinks of himself as a film director and so of course he wants to prove that GE is real. Wait, didn't he say it sucked? Oh yeah, the movie has to move - sorry.

Skip ahead to the gathering of similar idiots and school equipment and a thousand four letter words later and they're on the road to Canada - where the original (and this one of course) was actually filmed. They try to be clever (NOT) by blurring the road signs and bleeping out the 'real' name of the psych hospital from the first movie. I have to digress - I saw a cool sign that said how come horror movies are always made in prisons and hospitals? They need to make one in a Wal Mart. I'd watch that. I've even got a title - 'It Wore Stretch Pants Ten Sizes Too Small'. Could happen.

Uh oh we're reaching novel proportions and this movie is NOT worth it, so just take the first movie, insert teenagers and lots of profanity, the same effects (a couple new ones but not original) and one small twist which was their little claim to anything original. They found 'Lance', or rather Sean Rogerson playing himself/not himself. He thinks he's been there under a year when it's been nine years. He lives on rats and toilet water. I think the kids should have to also for being in this movie... 

Lance/Sean explains that the hospital constantly shifts, which is why they can't find their way out. Only one door will do it 'cause the crazy Dr. Friedkin (every mental hospital supposedly has one - must be in the hospital's contract) was into the occult and experimented on his patients. So. If they can appease the 'spirit' of the hospital they can get out... okay, somebody call the makers of House On Haunted Hill and apologize RIGHT NOW! Oh yeah, that was a remake, sorry, never mind.

So we've eaten our creamy but bland middle and are stuck with the rest of the cookie... I mean movie. This movie was definitely about twenty minutes too long because you expect it to be over loooooong before it finally is. And I really REALLY want to punch that damn kid in the face.

Long story short (too, too late) Lance/Sean recovers enough of his wits to betray the survivors to get himself out but is sucked into some vortex that shows up for no damn good reason, and Alex, our lazy-eyed jerk has decided to listen to the voice who wants the movie completed. Why? So other idiots like Alex will think it's real and come to the hospital. It needs food. DUH. Alex kills his girlfriend with the camera, goes through the magic door and finds himself wandering the streets of L.A.

Our pitiful story ends with Alex and the producer of the original being interviewed. He tells the audience that the sequel was made because Alex is so damn smart and remember, it's all fake. Alex looks straight at the camera and says 'Don't look for the hospital because it's not worth it.' Which of course for young people is code for 'Go as fast as you can to find this stupid place.' In fact you see a flash of a set of numbers just before the credits roll. Supposedly it's the coordinates to the hospital. Want to take a trip? Here you go...

49 14 122 48

Pack a lunch.

Okay, okay, sorry. The really, really, really real building is actually Riverview Hospital, a mental health facility located in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The site is currently only open to hospital traffic between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm. After that you get your facially distorted ghost activity. Maybe. Depends on how much money you have and how gullible you are.