The conceptual design for Grave Encounters 2 is to try to prove what occurred in part 1 really did happen, if in fact one suspends the belief that it wasn’t a fake. The Vicious Brothers return as writers and producers of this sequel, they were the directors of part one, which now has John Poliquin (Still/Born ) taking the helm. This time around, the movie starts with a group of individual Vloggers giving their opinions about the first film, most notable Shawn C. Phillips (Witches Blood ) and then Alex Wright (Richard Harmon (Trick ‘r Treat )) chimes in to criticize the ending, at which point the film opening title flashes on the screen, and the movie starts up. For those unfamiliar, the first movie had a supposedly television crew visit an abandoned and haunted mental hospital, which all vanished without a trace. Part two not as well received as the first one, and rarely do the sequels generate more than the original but it’s considered a decent movie, better than many of the other found footage films in their subgenre.
Alex, a film student and first-time horror film director, doing his film Slash n’ Burn begins receiving anonymous tips from DeathAwaits666 suggesting that the film “Grave Encounters” was not fiction. As the investigation continues, Alex becomes seriously convinced what originally released was not the whole story and seeks to find what happened to them. Helping him on the quest a so-called friend name Trevor (Dylan Playfair) who later goes on to star in The Hollow  a TV-movie, also stars Harmon. Another sticking point which Alex clings to that cast of the first film never went on to make any films, those the actors and crew in reality obviously continued their individual careers. He stops his silly slasher to do a documentary on Grave Encounters. The audience learns through, scares, possession that the hospital is quite alive and looking for new visitors and patients, seems to take a page from House on Haunted Hill (1999) the remake. Oh, one can’t forget about the wonderful encounter with Lance, clutching a stuff animal the actor (Sean Rogerson) reprisal for his role, to watch his feeding habits delicious and helps to spin another twist in the movie.
Honestly, there’s very little that one finds of originality, a common issue of a sequel though interesting what one does another film involving the same location and lured by the name Death Awaits (which is actual the name of metal band). As for the execution sadly very hit and miss, with the acting varied depending on the situation, therefore unsure if the problem comes from the cast or the script. However, once more a found footage movie needs no script, does the conversation you have on date or over a dinner come with a pre-script reading, no, it’s all just natural, with slips in speaking, mispronunciation and so on, of that not present herein, hence well edited. In addition, the first 45-mionutes takes so long to develop the discovery of the location, those involved and then goofy angles of looking for weed, why would you film oneself look for illegal drugs on campus. Set design and the usage of ghost effects, rocking horses, and sounds do work well and likely achieve some good scares in the audience.
In addition, a solid rule in filmmaking if one secures a great place allow it to be a character, which is something Grave Encounters 2 actually does right, after all Riverview Hospital in Canada (sort of mentioned in the film) plays a significant importance. In real life, a true historic insane asylum and likely the most-filmed location in Coquitlam, Canada, with the West Lawn being the most cherished building. Since then many television shows such as The X-Files, as well movies Along Came a Spider (2001), Jennifer’s Body (2009) and many others all used the backdrop in their productions.
Grave Encounters 2 tries to up the chill level from the first movie but continues the running in hallways with incredibly powerful ghosts and poltergeist activities, along with usual overstretch mouths. The panic runs, screaming, and just green vision shadows make easier jump scares to occur they never seem overly scary. Therefore, simply, if you’re fan of this subgenre, have your jollies, and if you enjoyed the first part then go for another thrill ride.
This film review was originally posted on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website in June 2017.
- Fear Is Just a Word. Reality Is Much Worse.
IMDb Rating: 5.1/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10