Hey gang, Valkor here. I think I'm one of the rare few that didn't give two shits about the first Grave Encounters film (1.5 stars); as far as "found footage" films go, Evidence still takes top honors; I just watched it for the umpteenth time and I still can't get over how awesome that ending was. Anyway, the gang behind the first Grave Encounters film are back for a second helping with "Grave Encounters 2"; but is this the film fans of the first really want to see or more of the same BS? Major Spoilers ahead!
I'm voting more of the same!
Grave Encounters 2 centers on Alex (Richard Harmon), an aspiring, young film student plus YouTube vLogger, who is beyond obsessed with the first film that he believes the events in the film actually happened and proceeds to investigate the missing players; this is brought on when he starts receiving messages on his YouTube page from someone with the handle "deathawaits". He tracks down a couple of people who either know someone from th efilm or involved with its making. Deathawaits returns with a final message, asking to meet with Alex at the hospital where it all went down. Along for the ride are his friends Trevor (Dylan Playfair), Jennifer (Leanne Lapp), Tessa (Stephanie Bennett), and Jared (Howie Lai). When the group first arrives at the hospital, their met with a burly security guard who chases them away; but of course they return later that evening to keep their appointment with deathawaits. And much like the first film, the group set up cameras in areas where there was ghostly action, but this time they brought along some assistive devices such as GPS trackers, glow sticks for a trail, and even carry bullhorns in case anyone gets separated.
Once shop is set up, the team proceeds to explore the hospital, attempting to contact spirits of any sorts be it past residents or members from the lost "Paranormal Investigators" crew. At first they don't find anything, but after playing with an old spirit board, they find "deathawaits", who's not a person, but a spirit of the hospital that has lured the team there - nd then it really hits the fan! The team is suddenly trapped in the hospital with no way out. And after losing Jared and Tessa, Alex and Jennifer discover that Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson), dude from the first film, is still alive. And he's the key to their escape. Lance has been trapped in the hospital for 9 years and he's been through every door in the place save for one – a big red one wrapped in chains that would appear to be a one way passage. Can Alex, Jennifer, and Sean survive long enough to make it out or will they be trapped in the hospital forever? The ending might surprise you.
The first film was a "grave" disappointment; I really wasn't happy with it. So how will my second "encounter" fare? We'll find out, in the TOV Breakdown.
First off, I liked the premise behind Grave Encounters 2, the whole "movie within a movie" bit worked well. So already it's off to a promising start. I also gotta give kudos to upping the effects; not much happens until towards the end and it's not eye-popping gorgeous, just simple and yet very effective, especially the effect on the portal that sucks in Lance (spoiler). Another spoiler that's also a goody is how Alex actually escapes the hospital. Yup he's the lone survivor of this ordeal, but its how he escapes that's sorta riveting. Other than that we have…
While I find the premise in part 2 to be stronger than the first film, I still felt that Grave Encounters 2… weaksauce! The set up before the gang gets to the house… kinda nice, but for the most part it's mostly long and boring. Come on, this is supposed to be a horror film, and yet I was dozing off up until they arrived at the hospital. And even when they're there and the spirits start popping up, it's essentially more of the same as the first film. No sir, I didn't like it. Not. One. Bit. Next, Lance is still alive in the hospital? OK, I'll buy it. Him being possessed by the hospital? Hmmm… ok. The hospital wanting Lance to finish the film Alex started just so Sean can be free… I'm not exactly sure why a possessed hospital wants a film to get made. Me thinks I need to see it again. Wait, scratch that, no I don't wish to sit through this film again… ever. Everything said about the first film, pretty much stands here, it's not creepy, scary, chilling, not even funny and only slightly entertaining. Overall, it's pretty bad.
Jennifer gets hamburgered! Oh and Lance eats another rat!
Ok so in the first film, the crew race through the hospital trying to find a way out. They realize the roof is the only way to go and just as they reach the top, the roof is blocked with no way out. Dick move hospital! In part two the hospital one ups the first one by allowing Alex, Trevor and Jennifer to actually leave the place, get in their van, and go back to their hotel. And just when they think they're home free… BAM! It's right back where they started.
I wasn't a fan of the first Grave Encounters, and while Grave Encounters 2 has some good about it, there's simply not enough to keep me interested. The film is currently making the Video On Demand Rounds and gets a limited theatrical release as well. So if you're a fan of the first film, you may wanna give this film a go, however all others go watch V/H/S or Evidence. I think you'll find those films more entertaining and scarier than this. As it stands, Grave Encounters 2 gets… a 2. Think there will be a third?