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Grave Encounters 2 – 5

Director – John Poliquin

Cast – Richard Harmon, Dylan Playfair, Stephanie Bennett, Howie Lai, Leanne Lapp

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

After storming onto the horror scene and making for one of the best horror film experiences of recent time, The Vicious Brothers’ Grave Encounters is a film experience I have recommended to many. When word hit that Grave Encounters 2 was in production I was pretty stoked. The sequel would return The Vicious Brothers as writers, which excited me given they themselves would be extending their tale, but I was not amused to see that they would not be directing the sequel to their masterpiece. While this sequel does break new ground in the Grave Encounters saga and gives us an interesting take on the events that occurred after the first film, it also sets back the series. Those expecting the same level of scares and enjoyment as the first film will most definitely be disappointed, and while this was not an overly bad film it definitely fails to keep the series alive.

Alex Wright is a film student obsessed with the film Grave Encounters. Determined to prove that the film is not a “mockumentary” but in fact a live telling of actual events, he and his film crew embark to visit the real psychiatric hospital depicted in the film. In doing so they come face to face with an unspeakable evil, hoping that their knowledge of the film will help them survive the night.

I liked that this experience initially took a different take to the series. Instead of picking up right where the previous film left off we are left with an aspiring filmmaker / Youtube vlogger who reviews horror films and has a strong fascination with what happened in Grave Encounters. Most of the world believes it is just a movie, but when Alex comes across evidence that indicates otherwise he takes it upon himself to expose the truth. Armed with his crew and sheer determination he weaves and winds his way through the obstacles until he finally finds the real hospital used in the film (the Grave Encounters producers changed the name of the actual hospital in the film) about 45 minutes into the film, and after that all hell breaks loose. It does not take long for the first death to occur after the enter the hospital, and thankfully the deaths kept coming and coming after that. There are decent scares written into the film and a shocking twist that plays into the events of the first film, but I really do not feel that anything overly interesting was added to the story here.

Director John Poliquin did an OK job with this piece, although I feel the bulk of the positives his direction had to offer occurred during the first, developmental half of the film. He gained my interest with his execution of Alex and his quest to gain entrance into the hospital, and after that he started to lose me. Sure the look of the hospital was creepy and that giant monster bro that chases them down the eery hallways was pretty darn awesome, but aside from that I cannot think of any other positives in his direction. The story definitely lagged towards the end of the film, and sadly Poliquin’s direction lagged with it and did nothing to improve the experience, in the end leaving me wishing this sequel had been much better.

Overall, Grave Encounters 2 is a lame sequel that could have and should have been much better.  The flick starts off well and grabs your attention early on, but by the end credits roll you are left with an experience that lacked the scares, and ingenuity of the first film.

Rating: 5/10

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