Review: Grave Encounters (2011)

It has been a while since I’ve written an actual article or even a review and I feel terrible about it, totally.  But last night I sat down to watch the “found footage” movies, Grave Encounters and Grave Encounters 2.  This morning after thinking about it, I decided to write a little review.  Not because these movies blew me away or anything, but I just feel like it.  I was told to check this out by my brother in-law, a person who is not a fan of found footage movies.  Paranormal Activity was laughable to him and I am sure he isn’t a fan of Blair Witch.  On the other hand, I do like these types of movies, Rec, The Blair Witch Project and more recently, The Houses October Built and Hell House LLC are all good found footage movies in my opinion.  Both Grave Encounters are currently on Amazon Prime streaming to view.  Check them out, regardless of what I say.

The first movie follows a group of filmmakers, actors making an episode of a show called “Grave Encounters”.  This show totally mocks Zach Baggins and Ghost Adventures, perfectly.   The crew is filming the episode in an old rundown insane asylum.  Things are going well and you get a look at what the behind the scenes of theses ghost hunting shows are more than likely, really like.  Of course they begin to see things, objects move and we see ghostly figures in the darkness.  The thing that sets this apart is the asylum itself.  It changes throughout the movie.  The front door of the lobby no longer leads to the outside.  The way to the roof is blocked with a stairway that leads to a wall.  The asylum turns into a maze and a prison.

Grave Encounters wasn’t half bad.  For me, it is mixed.  There are some spine tingling moments for sure, but it was all ruined for me by one scene.  Yeah, seriously.  The scene below, with GIFs provided, show a “grave” mistake.

This scene was completely ripped off from the 1999 remake of the House on Haunted Hill.

Grave Encounters (2011)
house on haunted hill 1999 | Tumblr
The House on Haunted Hill (1999)

When I saw this in The House on Haunted Hill it was chilling.  But, in Grave Encounters, I pointed at the TV and said, “THIEVES!”  They ripped off a movie from 12 years prior.  Now, there is a chance the filmmakers had not seen The House on Haunted Hill, but I think they were horror fans.  The Doctor above was named Dr. Friedkin.  The director of The Exorcist is…William Friedkin.  So, I think they knowingly stole the shot from The House on Haunted Hill.

Ok, that aside, Grave Encounters wasn’t bad.  It was worthy of a watch and any fan of ghost hunting shows would like this one for sure.  When it ended, I was hooked enough to check out the second movie.  So, I did and I may have actually liked it a little better.  Also, it is a case of needed the first to see the second.

I’d give Grave Encounters a 5.2 overall has a rating of 6.1.  That leads me to believe I am missing something.

I feel this falls below the movies I mentioned before, Rec, Hell House LLC, The Blair Witch Project and The Houses October Built.  But it is totally worth a look.

I was going to do this as one full review, but I will do the second in its own article.

One thing I noticed in my research.  The Vicious Brothers talked about a prequel movie in 2015 and honestly, bring it on.  I’d love to see this as a trilogy.  I don’t know much about where the prequel would take place.  I don’t think doing it with the asylum open would be good.  That is my opinion.

I am going to look for these on DVD to add to my horror collection.


About Ray Marek III 699 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)