one of those obnoxious youtube posters, Alex Wright probably has it
coming. When he uploads a review ripping
the Vicious Brothers’ found footage horror movie Grave Encounters for looking fake, the film student gets something
he never anticipated—a starring role in the sequel. Viewers will indeed head back to the haunted nut
house, but with a postmodern twist in John Poliquin’s Grave Encounters 2 (trailer here), written, produced ,and edited by the
Brothers Vicious, which screens appropriately at midnight this Friday and
Saturday in New York.
in the abandoned Collingwood asylum, the filmmaking duo known as the Vicious
Brothers (sort of like Radio Silence) scared a lot of folks with Grave Encounters 1, in which Lance
Preston and his reality television crew spends an ill-fated night in the evil
building, with their cameras running to record to record their supernatural
demises. However, as Wright soon learns
from an online commenter known as Death Awaits 666, Sean Rogerson, the actor
who played Preston, has never been heard from since.
Death Awaits emails and faxes tantalizes clues to Wright, the aspiring filmmaker
becomes increasingly fixated on the first Grave
Encounters and the institution it called “Collingwood,” but whose real name
has been censored to protect viewers from their curiosity. Eventually getting off-the-record
confirmation GE is the real deal, Wright
scrounges together a crew and heads to the nameless asylum to shoot his own film,
GE2 is to found footage style films
what Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was
to the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It opens up the subgenre through its
post-modern devices, like a filleted fish.
However, Poliquin (a.k.a. JP) does not invest the same amount of time
establishing every ominous inch of Collingwood, presumably assuming we are
already familiar with the shunned building.
Likewise, despite the cleverness of the first act, including an
appearance by “the Vicious Brothers” as a pair of numbskull figurehead interns
at the original film’s production company, the sequel lacks the same slow
so, the institution formerly known as Collingwood remains creepy as all get
out. The GE franchise must have some of the best location scouting and set
design you will see in contemporary horror films. Sean Rogerson also makes a heck of a return in
the follow-up, playing himself playing Lance Preston. While not as an engaging presence, Richard
Harmon has some effective moments showing the dark sides of obsession and the
pettiness of film schools (which the Viciouses reportedly despise).
By genre standards, GE 2 is uncommonly original.
It just does not get under the skin the way its predecessor did. Definitely still good for a few scares, Grave Encounters 2 screens midnights
this Friday (10/12) and Saturday (10/13) in New York at the Village East
Labels: Found footage, Horror Movies, Sequels, Vicious Brothers