Published Oct 21, 2012Falling mostly into the category of "passable" within the ever-expanding lexicon of found footage horror, the original Grave Encounters movie was fine for what it was: a generic spook-fest about interchangeable ciphers being killed in an abandoned asylum. There were a couple of decent scares, but no real substance to make it anything more than a passing diversion.
The sequel, on the other hand, is actively bad. In trying to rehash the established status quo, The Vicious Brothers (a self-imposed name that hopefully has some sort of ironic intent) set up a film student protagonist that takes his crew of actors and filmmaker friends to the original asylum after receiving a video comment on his web review of the original Grave Encounters film. Unable to establish career trajectories for any of the actors in the original film, he comes to the conclusive that the found footage was actually real.
With some awkward jabs at the torture porn genre—the film student dilettante is making a gory Saw-like movie when he decides to embark on his Canadian journey of the paranormal—there's little substance or character definition established before the boring archetypal teens are sneaking into the asylum where they demonstrate limited knowledge of rudimentary cinematography.
From here, this borderline laughable horror movie does little more than follow everyone around until large-mouthed demons pick them off one-by-one. And embarrassingly, after nothing has been established aside from the strained set-up to justify the existence of a sequel, there's some effort to criticize the viewer for desiring reality horror, or something.
Although, based on the limited scope and clumsy execution of this puerile work of banality, it's unlikely that there will be many viewers learning the valuable lesson that The Vicious Brothers and director John Poliquin have strenuously injected as an afterthought. (Tribeca Film)