Xavierpop Does @TADFilmFest – ‘Grave Encounters 2′ Is A Solid Horror Film That Will Delight

Grave Encounters 2 is a surprisingly better made horror film than was expected. This film draws from many sources and ideas that have been seen elsewhere, but manages to blend them nicely into some solid chills and lots of fun. Capturing the tone of the first, it expands the mythos in interesting and creative ways.

Starting with various vloggers speaking about the first film, we are introduced to Alex (Richard Harmon), a film school student that initially thinks the first film is fiction and poorly made. We are introduced to his friends, Jennifer (Leanne Lapp), Trevor (Dylan Playfair), Tessa (Stephanie Bennett) and Jared (Howie Lai). We see them living their college life, with Alex shooting a movie and slowly becoming obsessed with the original Grave Encounters after he tries to find out what the actors are up to. Using social media, he gets contacted by DeathAwaits666. Alex is told if he comes to the site of the original, all the truth will be revealed. His friends are convinced to come, and manage to get into the hospital. Once there, of course, the truth is revealed.

This is another found footage film, though we do have a survivor to bring it out, and uses some effective ways to have multiple angles of the same scene. By early on placing several cameras on tripods, the viewer gets a much welcomed break from the constant motion usually evident. We also get, quite literally, another viewpoint of the same situation. This immersion works quite effectively in placing the viewer right in the middle of the action. As the group size decreases, so do the number of cameras, which further emphases their predicament. Keeping the view limited in such a dark and dank place, works well to enhance the claustrophobic atmosphere and sense of dread.

The Vicious Brothers managed to write a relatively solid script for Director John Poliquin. In an effort to create real people rather than just characters to be killed, the time between opening credits and the hospital is overly long. The inclusion of footage of them as goofy college kids only show a lack of seriousness on their part that allows them to be sucked into this, yet the film dwells on the growing obsession of Alex longer than was needed.  Poor choices are made, multiple times, about things that should have been obvious to a serious horror fan. If a place is haunted, and managed to kill an entire crew once, why would you think you could go in and come out ok beyond the arrogance of youth.

Once there, things move at a fairly good pace, doubling back on thoughts and ideas as the increasingly smaller group works its way through an ever more complex system of doors and tunnels. The addition of Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) from the first film having survived deepens the mystery of what is going on. He has gone insane, but still manages to be a hinge on which the final segment of the film rests. Having spent so much time on the college kids, they felt it was only right to let everyone in on what Lance has been up to. It’s not pretty or nice.

Longtime horror fans, and gamers, will find plenty to be familiar with, and will have seen parts of this film before. Overall it’s a solid film, both serious and casual fans should find plenty to enjoy.