Monday, October 15, 2012
BACK TO THE ASYLUM
The first "Grave Encounters" movie was okay. It wasn't great but was a decent watch. We now have a sequel to the original expertly entitled "Grave Encounters 2". The story behind this movie is that a budding film student becomes engrossed with the first movie that he thinks everything was real and starts to make a documentary about how the makers of "Grave Encounters" are covering up what really happened to the actors and the people associated with the first movie.
It is a unique way to approach the sequel to the movie and in some ways works to it's advantage. The acting for the main character Alex Wright(Richard Harmon) is strong and works well as we see this fun loving college film student start to spiral down a dark path while making this documentary. He has become totally obsessed with the first movie and nothing will stop him to get the story of what he thinks really happened out there.
The movie starts out with video clips of fans of the movie telling the audience what they thought of the first one, of course they are staged quips from these people and was a little strange to open the movie with but it kind of sets the tone of the movie. We are then bombarded with quick cuts and short clips of the film students partying it up and their off and on again working on a student horror film. This worked to a point until it became a little tiring waiting for to back to the asylum. During this time Alex gets messages from a strange message board poster to meet them at the asylum in Canada and the reality of the situation will be given to the film student and he will have the proof he needs to give to the public the real story of what happened that fateful night.
This is where I think the movie kind of works and fails at the same time. It was cool and fun for the first bit to see this footage but also I felt it dragged the movie down in pacing. They could have cut out a lot of the partying scenes and get a quicker to the meat of the story, the haunted asylum, that's why the audience is watching, to see scary things happen. They do happen, just not quick enough for the style of movie..found footage. I think this is the failing point of most found footage movie is the pacing and all the fluff footage that gets thrown in. If the writers and directors could keep the movie quick, concise and to the point it would make for a better experience.
The acting overall is a mixed bag. Richard Harmon was the strongest of the group while Dylan Playfair was the weakest, mostly because of his over acting. I found Dylan's character Trevor, best friend to Alex, was a tad on the annoying side and brought the movie down a bit as well. Stephanie Bennett did a good job as Tess, Alex's girlfriend and star of Alex's movie. The rest of the cast overall were okay, just nothing too memorable. This time around acting was not the stronger suit.
The Vicious Brothers were back again as writers and did a decent job with the script though the dialogue at times was corny. What they need to work on is pacing of the story. It was a unique try on the found footage genre with the sequel that worked in some places and flopped in others. They added in some nice scares through out the asylum scenes but like the first one there was too much fluff between waiting.
The ending worked to a degree though the acting at times with the ending character who shows up was laughable at times, and for the frame of mind of this character you shouldn't be laughing at things they were saying. I won't go into details of who this character is but fans of the first movie should be able to recognize them.
Overall it wasn't bad movie but I felt it didn't live up to the first one. A unique take on the genre with subpar story telling and a mixed bag of acting thrown together with a few good scares will only work I think for people who have seen and liked the first movie. If this was the only scary movie you had the choice to watch come this Halloween then your night won't be totally wasted.
I give this movie 2.5 stars out of 5. It's not great but what keeps it a float are the couple good scares and the good performance from Richard Harmon keep this from totally bombing. I recommend this one only if there isn't anything scary out there you haven't seen or if you want to see where they go with this sequel. Till next time my friends.