Grave Encounters is yet another in the rash of found footage films. The movie is about a reality show style paranormal investigation team that enters a supposedly haunted asylum in order to find proof of life after death… and of course they find something.
This movie started off with a bit of a twist. The beginning was more of a mock documentary about shows such as Haunted Houses and Ghost Hunters. It was really silly and they really seemed to try to play up the main characters obnoxious ego. So, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. I just thought it was going to be funny, lame or both.
Jerry Hartfield from Grave Encounters
The filmmakers did a good job at segueing from the humerus beginnings to the scariness rather quickly. The whole premise of the paranormal investigative team being the focus of one of these found footage films has been done several times before as it gives the filmmakers lots of camera opportunities. Not that this detracts from the concept. All the reality television we watch on TV is created by film crews, from the most produced like The Bachelor and THe Real World to the lower budget like travel channels and cooking channels.
Grave Encounters was the first of these found footage films that I had seen that tried to take the film making to a new level. It was definitely more ambitious than most on an effects level. This helped and hindered the film. While the effects were exciting and new to the genre they also took an extra level of plausible deniability from the viewer.
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie but then again, I like anything.