Another example of the found footage horror movie, popularised (but not originated) by ‘The Blair Witch Project’. This Canadian effort offers raw footage of a TV crew as they enter a derelict, supposedly haunted former asylum to spend the night.
This approach can be effective if done well (‘[Rec]’ being the high watermark), but there’s only so much one can do with it and it seems it’s all been done already. There are a handful of big jump moments in the film but it still tries to get ones from things like doors closing. To its credit it rarely feels like watching security camera footage like the ‘Paranormal Activity’ films but it heavily relies on one trick, being night vision. It almost seems like a cheat, we can hardly see anything at all, making it much easier for something to suddenly appear. If I have to watch another found footage horror film I’d really like to see one shot entirely in the daylight, to see if anyone can actually still manage to get scares then. It also has a strange internal logic that doesn’t seem to make much sense, granted it is a supernatural film but there appears to be little consistency in whether the ghosts are visible or invisible.
There’s absolutely nothing original to be found in ‘Grave Encounters’ but it’s a watchable enough horror movie even though you’ll probably see most of the scares coming.