Welcome to Horror Movie Recollections, the blog where a guy who has no in-depth knowledge of film retells the stories of horror movies that he’s half-forgotten. So strap yourself in for the thrill ride that is…
And by “the thrill ride,” I mean “one of those movies where they found the tapes after all of the main characters died and none of it has been altered in any way shape or form.”
Yes, Grave Encounters is one of those “real” horror films. The plot is very standard. A bunch of good-looking twenty somethings (and some guy in his thirties who I swear looks like Mick Jagger) host this paranormal activity television show (that strongly resembles Paranormal State, if you ever saw that.)
Allow me to introduce you to the main cast.
Otherwise known as: The Handsome Leading Man. He hosts the show, does interviews with the people involved with the hauntings, etc etc. All you need to know is is that this guy is basically Ryan Buell (making a reference to Paranormal State again.)
Otherwise known as: The Only Woman In The Movie. So, as is tradition, she has a few freak outs, but all-in-all, she’s not that interesting. Like, seriously, there isn’t even a romantic sub-plot going on. She’s just there to look pretty and add some screams to the film, so let’s move on.
Otherwise known as: The Only Likeable Character. At least for the first hour or so. Character development leads you to become fond of the Handsome Leading Man, even though he’s a dick early on. Considering that Matt White is The Only Likeable Character, you can probably venture a guess who gets fucked up first.
Houston Gray (who didn’t get a cool intro like the others), otherwise known as: Mick J- err… The “Psychic”. All you really need to know about him is that he’s not really psychic. He’s not entirely interesting once you find out he’s not.
T.C Gibson, otherwise known as… Well, you know. Being the only black character in the film basically ensures that he’s not going to be the one to die first. Why’s that? Because horror movies these days are all about breaking free of the cliches that once binded them. As such, they’ve created whole new cliches for them to be bound by! T.C is the only character that you kind of feel bad for when he dies, considering that he has a wife and kid. You get punched in the face with the Fist of Irony pretty early on when T.C ensures his daughter that “monsters aren’t real.” Fast forward 45 minutes where T.C gets killed by a monster.
So now that you know the characters, let’s dive right into what I remember of the plot.
So the movie starts off with the producer of the show, Grave Encounters, telling us about the show. It was way before its time blah blah blah it was going well blah blah until the sixth episode where everyone got fucked up. And keep in mind, folks, that this footage has not been altered in any way.
Now the movie is under way, as we get a look at the footage. It starts with Lance Preston doing the intro to the episode ,which takes place in an asylum. Blah blah blah uninteresting interviews blah blah doctor guy (who specialized in lobotomies) was murdered by a couple patients (remember this, this is important) blah blah ghosts blah.
Queue timelapse shot.
They’re then locked in the asylum until 6am, when the caretaker will let them out. Run-of-the-mill stuff for ghost hunting shows such as this. Of course, there are cameras set around the asylum.
Obviously nothing happens for the first few hours. They try to provoke any spirits in the asylum, as is typical, and nothing happens. While they’re looking, that is. While they’re not looking, a window opens, a wheelchair moves on its own, a door slams shut. That’s it.
Wheelchairs are scary. Silent Hill says so.
Oh and also Sasha’s hair moves on its own, I guess.
She freaks out and Houston brings her back to base. While he’s gone, Lance and T.C decide to provoke the spirits a bit more which, when he returns, Houston isn’t entirely cool with.
But they do it anyway. They get lost, try to call Matt on the walkie talkies, but holy shit, they’re not working.
Blah blah blah fast forward a little bit and they’re getting ready to pack up. Matt goes to grab the cameras and notices the window. Then he…wanders off?
Literally, he sees something in the other room, wanders off, and we don’t see him for the other half of the movie. Well great, even the likeable character got bored.
"Ooh, is that an Oscar?"
So, of course, the rest of the movie is spent looking for him. Houston stays at base, by himself, because…I dunno, he’s a dick? Blah blah they yell his name blah blah blah find camera equipment blah blah T.C goes up some stairs and then…He gets pushed down them.
Man it sure is convenient that the camera landed towards him, isn’t it?
He busts up his leg, so Sasha and Lance need to help him back to base. Keep in mind that, as soon as they get back, his leg is completely fine.
Leg fucked up.
Leg completely fine.
At this point, T.C has had enough and just wants to get the fuck out of here. Fuck Matt, right? It’s not like anything worse could have happened to him. You were pushed down the stairs. That’s the last straw!
Lance and T.C bust down the front door and…
HOLY SHIT IT’S ANOTHER HALLWAY THIS PLACE IS TOTALLY FUCKING HAUNTED
"We must have gotten turned around in here" says Houston.
Yup you totally got turned around while you were in the lobby of the asylum, right next to the front door. Mhm. Sure did.
Blah blah blah they can’t escape blah blah blah it’s actually 8 AM blah blah the food has rotted blah blah they went to sl-
They went to sleep.
While they were sleeping, their lamp
was pushed by the ghost fell over and fucking broke.
Ghosts are dicks.
"Houston, what’s your problem?!" exclaims T.C.
Blah blah blah roof access just leads to more hallways blah blah blah they hear Matt scream blah blah bed flies into the air and freaks the fuck out.
Oh and the ghosts write a message on Sasha’s back while they’re all asleep.
This is why you don’t sleep in a fucking haunted asylum, guys.
blah blah blah more exploring
Oh look it’s the scary chick from the trailer.
Seriously guys, if you’re gonna do a scare like this, don’t put it in the fucking trailer so we all expect it.
So, naturally, they all leg it out of there, but Houston gets seperated from the group and dies.
And…no one really seems to care enough to go and look for him. We seriously never see him again. This is the last we see of him.
Awesome. (Also don’t ask why he’s flying through the air. A flash of light sent him flying and it’s never explained.)
Regardless, he’s dead.
Queue more freaking out and exploring of the asylum…
They passed out and now they…have tags on their wrists? O…kay let’s just roll with it.
blah blah blah more freaking out and exploring
Oh hey it’s Matt. Yeah, he’s gone crazy. I’m assuming his brain was removed or something? (hint hint)
Oh yeah and here’s probably the coolest part of the movie.
Arms from the ceiling. Fucking sweet.
blah blah they run away and, oh, I should give you some context for the next scene.
So there was this girl that killed herself in this bathtub. The exact same bathtub is actually still in the asylum. Apparently it was filled with her own blood (and water, I’m assuming.)
Okay that’s all the context you need for the second coolest part of this movie.
T.C gets pulled into the bathtub and, when turned over, it’s completely empty.
Welp, He’s gone for good! Time to freak out and explore more.
They find a ladder that goes down to the service tunnels, but they can’t seem to pry open the door. So Lance, being the daring leader, goes off by himself to find something to pry it open with. He takes a bar from a hospital bed and…
Wait a second.
Is…that a tongue?
Oh… I see this belongs to you. I’m just gonna GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.
So Lance, obviously, gets the fuck out of there, pries open the door, and…wait, what was that sound?
HOLY SHIT THIS THING IS FUCKING AWESOME
While Lance and Sasha are fighting this fucking awesome thing off, Crazy Matt jumps down the shaft and…
NO MATT NO
YOU WERE SO YOUNG
YOU WERE SO LIKEABLE
Sasha and Lance hang out in the service tunnels…waiting for death, I guess?
The time starts jumping around and the fog rolls in.
As the fog rolls out, we see that…
OH NO SASHA IS GONE
Oh well her character was pretty two-dimensional.
Moving right along, Lance is now left on his own. He yells at the ghosts to just kill him and…
He kills a rat. He also eats it but I’ll save you that because holy shit did it gross me out.
Lance decides to wander around the service tunnels and…
Finds a door. What? How did they not…notice that before…Oh well, let’s just roll with it.
OH GOD NO
ABANDON SHIP. EVERY MAN, WOMAN, CHILD, AND GHOST FOR HIMSELF.
Jesus fucking christ are you kidding me? We’re going with the “satanic demon summoning ritual” schtick? Fucking hell.
Lance turns around to see a bunch of people at an operating table. He accidentally stumbles over the summoning circle, looks down for a split second, looks back over AND HOLY SHIT IT’S A GHOST FACE
Suffice to say, Lance does not get out alright and we’re left with this haunting image.
"Grave Encounters…signing off."
And that was Grave Encounters. In case you didn’t understand the ending, well, here you go.
It was the brain doctor the entire time.
However, we never get any real explanation as to what is causing all of this. All we get is a half-assed “oh yeah it was demons” at the end and that’s it. Who made the summoning circle? Why? How’d they find the tapes? What happened after? Is Lance alive? Why did arms come out of the walls?
The movie isn’t all that great, but I wouldn’t say that it was terrible. It’s all just a bit predictable. We’ve seen the twists a hundred times and we never really get any closure at the end. All-in-all, Grave Encounters, which could have been a really great movie, fell completely flat.
That’s all for this time, folks. Stay tuned next time for an actually good movie.
I’ll give you a hint.