Grave Encounters

grave-encounters Lance Preston and the crew of “Grave Encounters”, a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted – it is alive – and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital’s dark past…and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

What grabbed me about this movie was that is sounded exactly like the set up for Ghost Adventures. A small team locks themselves in a psychiatric hospital so they can record evidence of the paranormal. It seemed like a parody to me, but the reviews were surprisingly positive. I’ve never heard of this movie before and the DVD isn’t scheduled to come out until October, but Amazon has a digital rental.

Ok, right off the bat this is a mix of Ghost Adventures, Blair Witch, Kingdom Hospital, The Shining, Paranormal Activity and several other movies all rolled into one. What we’re watching are the "lost diaries" of the team after their final episode has been taped. What ensues is a Ghost Adventures episode gone wrong. There is a lot of humor in the set up where Lance speaks to the camera in his William Shatner like tone, he bribes a gardener to make up stories about seeing apparitions, the maintenance guy is less than thrilled to be on camera and have these "kids" running around the place and he even has a "medium" come in to talk about what he feels. It has all the elements from all the paranormal shows. It also has the night vision cameras, the slightly matrixing walls and hallways where you desperately try to scan the room looking for shadows and plenty of rooms where nothing happens. But then all of a sudden…

Honestly, this movie entertained the hell out of me. Its low budget scares, wildly jerky camera angles, Halloween fun house effects and just as much cussing as you find in Scarface, give you a wild ride through a creepy hospital where the corridors are endless and hallways lead to dead ends. This is the raw footage so nothing gets bleeped. Bottom line, expect plenty of F-Bombs. It all starts rather cynically, as Lance is just doing this to get some scares for the folks at home and to try make some money. The previous episodes have been good, but he needs some evidence to keep the show going. He’s ready just to make stuff up if it keeps the ratings up.

Evidence is what he gets. I won’t give any details as that will spoil the ride, but there was plenty to like. It gets a little silly in a few places, where they go for shock factor or the "gross out" effect, but overall you should be entertained. This will make some for some great late night viewing. As I said, there are plenty of long dark hallways, rooms where you expect something to leap out at you, screaming and chaos off camera and plenty of doors slowly opening and closing. It’s a mixture of low key scares and in your face action. You’re just not sure which one is coming next.

If you’re looking for something to add to your Halloween movie collection, this is definitely a rental to keep in mind.

Grave Encounters on Amazon

Other Articles of Interest:

Paranormal Challenge – Linda Vista Hospital – S01E10

This was an absolutely horrible episode showcasing two teams that in my opinion have no investigation skills whatsoever. They acted like a bunch of kids running around in the dark, making a ton of noise, running from room to room without any sort of plan of how to capture evidence. They were juvenile, they were scared, they were annoying. This was nowhere near as bad as the previous episode, but I was so close to switching this episode off and saying forget it. Neither of these teams has any credibility with me.

Verify Paranormal acted like a bunch of drunken college kids running around a supposed haunted dorm. There was no method to how they investigated, they never stopped sit and listen to their environment, they didn’t do any EVPs (at least that they showed) and by the end of the show they were acting like a bunch of 8 year olds. What the hell is with walking around with pantyhose on your shoulder?

Also, what in the hell is wrong with their team member Scott who freaks out for no reason and starts running down the hall screaming for things to leave him alone? What the hell kind of investigator is he? This is on par with the Brian Harnois, "Dude, Run" fiasco of years gone by. If you’re that damns scared of the dark, don’t go hunting for ghosts.

I also have a serious issue with David sticking his hands in the human remains in the crematorium. Those are human remains, show some @#$%ing respect!!!

Paranormal EXP didn’t bring much more to the table. They seemed confused by the equipment and didn’t spend any time taking EVPs or trying to understand the environment. There was constant talking amongst themselves and at no point did it even seem like they were doing an investigation. It was more like they were wandering through an old building to get to somewhere else. They may have been a little more mature than Verify Paranormal, which isn’t saying much, but they didn’t convince me they knew what the hell they were seasoned pros at this sort of thing.

At the halfway point, I was ready to give up. I completely disagree with Dave and think these two teams are dreadful. They’re scared of everything and act like everything is a complete joke. It was a chore to watch the second half.

I thought the evidence they presented was crap. They had a couple of odd clanging noises and a reflection. I guess I should be happy, at least they didn’t show any orbs or capture themselves talking into the recorders.

This episode sucked. It was amateur hour on every level. The only redeeming part was Dr. Michael Shermer who gave both teams a false story about the hospital’s past. I thought that was a great experiment. It seemed like Verify Paranormal feel into it a little bit though. I’d love to see some more of that.

It’s disappointing this show is so hit or miss. Once again, I thought things were getting better and then we run into the pure sewage that was the last episode and then the waste of time that this episode turned out to be.

Other Articles of Interest:

Paranormal Challenge – La Purisma – S01E09

I’ve been quite lax in getting around to watching this episode and after only 20 minutes it was obvious I didn’t miss anything. I should have known by the abysmal names they chose of Paranormal Hot Squad and Ghost Bros that this episode would be on downward spiral. And seriously, who the hell invited Freddie Mercury to the investigation?

The guys start of by saying they plan to kill the women. What in the hell is that all about? The Indians were the victims here, what are they thinking? The ladies are no better by the constant antagonizing, screaming and taunting. What spirits are going to come out for this band of assholes? Why do they think going around being idiots and disrespecting everything will lead to results? It obvious everyone wants to talk to a loud, obnoxious, foul-mouthed bitch.

After 20 minutes of the investigation I was done. I hate these two teams and both of them are embarrassing. They should be ashamed of the way they acted and I can’t understand why Paranormal Challenge even aired this piece of crap. The whole thing comes across as the start of a low rent horror flick. It’s sad and pathetic. Regardless of whether or not this place is haunted they need to show some respect for the dead. They also need to show some respect for a place of worship. None of this is suitable behavior for a church.

Just when things were started to get better they bring this band of morons into the mix.

Other Articles of Interest:

Paranormal Challenge – Old South Pittsburgh Hospital – S01E08

Here we have another exciting episode in a hospital shrouded in dark history and medical blunders. We have a doctor with a wife that’s murdered, he doesn’t account for his whereabouts and the police drop the investigation against him. We have a child who dies at a young age after being bitten multiple times by copperhead snakes. (This is an urban legend isn’t it?) We also have a maintenance worker who commits suicide on the property, but says he’ll be back.

I’m extremely excited over the judges since we have Ron Fabiani of Paranormal Cops. I liked that show and I liked his method. I like the way he used measurable criteria and his logical approach. I still think his show had a lot of potential. I’m also excited about having Dr. Andrew Nichols, a parapsychologist. His analysis and insight about EVPs and other evidence is so refreshing to hear.

As for the teams, we have Tennessee Wraith Chasers and the Office of Paranormal Studies who are ready to scour this hospital and see if they come up with evidence. So how does it go for them and what do they come away with?

The teams start off quite well, but we have the blunder of Brandon from OPS who goes off the basement for a solo mission and forgets the digital recorder. He was off on his own for around an hour and a half and doesn’t actually stop to do any real investigating. Not only did he forget the recorder, he spends all his time antagonizing. He doesn’t stop to listen. The other gaff comes from Debbie when she starts to get frustrated at the lack of activity and starts throwing her hands up in the air and saying, "this sucks". She shows a definite lack of leadership and patience. I think she soured her team and drained their energy.

The Tennessee Wraith Chasers come across as a bunch of good ol’ boys and while they seem to know what they’re doing, they lack a certain level of organization. Their investigation is haphazard and doesn’t have a logical flow to it. They also don’t seem all that interested in stopping to capture EVPs. They run into a spot, say a couple things, then act like a bull at the gate to move on. Perhaps they were excited, perhaps overzealous, but in the end, their investigation seemed frantic.

What do we have in evidence? In actually it’s somewhat limited. They both present EVPs that are pretty low quality. I do like how Dr. Nichols is reminding everyone of how saying what you think and EVP says biases everyone else who listens to it. They are all expecting to hear that same phrase and will adjust their interpretation to match. The other evidence is a light source near the tricycle. It’s somewhat interesting, but I’m inclined to agree with Ron and say that is an IR reflection. At any rate, it’s not the sort of evidence that leaps out at you.

It was a good investigation, but to me the best part was listening to Dr. Nichols. He very clearly states that people hear what they want to hear and that when interpreting evidence you can’t jump to conclusions. He stresses there is a lot bias at play and people need to guard against it. I’d love to see him show up in more episodes and I’d be keenly interesting in learning more from him.

Other Articles of Interest:

Recent Comments