Grave Encounters (2011) Review – Or: Gah! Shaky-cam! Pass The Dramamine!

Yell! Magazine’s review of Grave Encounters (2011):

What hath Blair Witch Project wrought? Hey, it’s been a while since your faithful reviewer wrote one of these things, and I’m allowed to wax poetic for a bit. Ever since the release of the original Blair Witch Project, way back in the Spice Girls-roamed-the-Earth era of 1999, the “found footage” genre as exploded. Just like any good explosion, some parts of this phenomenon were awesome to watch while others were more akin to the charred remains left behind by some poor fool stuck in the blast radius. For every Yin, a Yang, for every [REC], a Chernobyl Diaries, and for every Kardashian, a wealthy professional sucker. I mean, athlete.

The symptoms of watching a point-of-view horror movie may include the following: motion sickness due to overuse of shaky-cam (guaranteed), tolerance depletion for expletive-laced dialog (almost always), disdain for amateurish acting. and a case of girlfriend-residing-in-your-manly-arms-for-comfort (depending on the quality of the scares on offer). That is, if you happen to have a girlfriend, which I do not. I am a sad, lonely man with no social life whatsoever and women often find that I stare way too intensely at their cleavage.

Wait, do the symptoms of “found-footage horror movie watching” include depression and lack of self-esteem? (Reads the label…)

Nope. Turns out I’m just pathetic.

Grave Encounters (2011)
Be honest, is this a bad approach to meeting women?

In the movie, Grave Encounters is the title of a reality television series that concerns itself with seeking out supposedly paranormal locales where antiquated mystical rites conspire to return humanity to a darker, more oppressive era. [Editor’s Note: I saw this episode. It was the Republican National Convention.] Think of it as the Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters, only even less convincing.

Grave Encounters begins with your typical found-footage disclaimer. To paraphrase: “This shit is totally for reals, yo! We found this video and must now share it with you so the world never forgets that a nameless bunch of community theater dropouts totally got killed by ghosts and stuff. Fo’shizzle!” I wish horror movies would drop this silly bit of fluff, it doesn’t enhance the tension by even a smidgen and comes off as a desperate grab for attention. For the show’s sixth episode, the cast decides to pay a visit to that old horror movie standby: the abandoned insane asylum where — brace yourselves — SOMETHING HORRIBLE HAPPENED!

Grave Encounters (2011)
I typed “something horrible” in image search and this came up.

Suffice it to say, after ignoring the usual warning signs from groundskeepers and the local yokels, our intrepid (read: suicidal) crew decides to spend the night. The group includes show creator Lance, occult expert Sasha, cameraman Gibson, guest star and medium Houston, and Matt, the show’s technical support guy. I knew instantly Matt was doomed to be the movie’s first victim as soon as he spoke the immortal words, “I’ll be right back!” At this point an off-screen snow leopard jumped on Matt and ate him.

Does Grave Encounters (2011) get buried in the rest of this review?

Grave Encounters (2011) poster
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
9 September 2011
The Vicious Brothers
Sean Rogerson, Juan Riedinger, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir, Michele Cummins, Bob Rathie, Ben Wilkinson, and Ashleigh Gryzko
Official URL:

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