The Vicious Brothers’ Grave Encounters

I’ve had graver, more memorable encounters in the horror genre than I did with The Vicious Brothers’ Grave Encounters, a film that’s much hyped up in the horror community but just sadly didn’t do much for me overall. I’m all for found footage horror if it’s done well and effectively and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the way this film is crafted, it’s just it spends way too much time building up to the scares that are few and far between when they finally do show up near the end. Like.. a cheapie, self aware faux ghost hunting comedy farce like this should be packed to the gills with scares from stem to stern and not try and attempt the slow burn buildup thing, that’s for horror that takes itself seriously. This is a silly film that should have pulled the ripcord of ridiculousness a way harder and way sooner and went full on nuts in the way stuff like The Evil Dead did, but it feels frustratingly restrained and reined in for much of the runtime, and by the time a few leering spectres and ghouls do show up, it’s a classic case of too little too late. The characters are a mixed bag and mostly bland except for Mackenzie Gray as a hilarious, charlatan dime-store psychic out of his depth. It’s shot in Coquitlam’s abandoned Riverview hospital (but what isn’t) and there’s a few eerie moments when the camera crew find themselves lost in never-ending corridors, but overall this just feels like a big missed opportunity. Perhaps the sequel goes for broke a bit more but if this one is any indication.. then perhaps not.

-Nate Hill

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