GRIMM UP NORTH – Grave Encounters and Seance: The Summoning
With the release of Grave Encounters on DVD and Blu-Ray next week, the Grimm team arranged a preview of the film to kick-start their supernatural horror double bill. Has it been worth the wait? Tom finds out…
With the recent surge in popularity of Found Footage horrors now waning, I was unsure whether Grave Encounters would add anything new to what is fast becoming an overpopulated and stale genre. Directed by The Vicious Brothers as their feature film debut, Grave Encounters follows a camera crew who regularly spend the night in supposedly haunted locations to capture evidence of supernatural activity and often end up staging situations to enhance the viewer’s enjoyment. When they lock themselves inside a long abandoned mental hospital it appears that the team may be on the verge of discovering something far more disturbing than they had ever imagined.
If Grave Encounters was released five or six years ago I have no doubt that it would be hailed as a horror classic, but as it stands, the rehashed ideas and tired storylines of the found footage genre have lost the majority of their impact. The Vicious Brothers draw heavily from a number of other fims that have paved the way and do throw in the occasional new idea but none of these are as powerful as say the attic scene in [REC], or the mobile phone video in Lake Mungo, and as a horror fan constantly on the look out for a new film that may have the potential to scare me it didn’t quite fulfil that role.
The film does have a number of creepy moments, and it was a shame that one such scare was spoiled in the trailer, and given their budgetary limit the directors have done an impressive job of creating some of the twisted denizens who lurk within the shadows. It is clear that this is a film made out of passion and love for the genre and the initial setup introduced the premise of a ghost hunting tv crew in a very entertaining manner.
For a low budget found footage film I was very entertained, even if the film failed to scare me as much as some of its predecessors and apart from a slightly lacklustre ending I would recommend this to fans of the genre. The Vicious Brothers clearly have an eye for creativity and as Grave Encounters was merely their debut feature there is a good chance that we will be seeing more from them in the future. I for one will definitely be watching out to see if they can break away from the cliches to make an entirely original horror.
Seance: The Summoning
Before attending Grimm’s screening I had searched the internet very thoroughly for any information I could find about Seance: The Summoning and for some reason there was little to be found. From the Producer of Hellraiser, this horror follows the story of four teenagers who head to a morgue to undertake a seance and have a wild night under the influence of various substances. There are the usual cliches needed for a seance, the girl in tune with her mystical side, the devout christian, and the foolhardy young man who initially thinks that anything supernatural is nothing more than a joke.
Seance: The Summoning deserves that finest of accolades, a direct to DVD release. It’s not without its highlights although these are all moments that entertain for the wrong reasons as the ham acting and ridiculous series of events often left a smile on my face. I would forgive anyone who stumbled into this film halfway through to see a topless possessed man pulsating in his chair intercut with scenes of girls in pain who thinks they are watching anything other than some deranged pornography.
The few redeeming features included the rock soundtrack which was bursting with energy and the end of the film. No, it wasn’t a fantastic ending, it was just over and that was a relief. As usual, I enjoyed watching Seance, the Grimm events always attract a fantastic crowd who appreciate a bad horror as much as a good one and an excellent time was had by all. I would avoid this film like the plague unless you are an up and coming film-maker who wants a lesson in how not to make a film.
The next Grimm event to take place is the Zombie Night on Friday 27th April and tickets can be purchased here
With three zombie films to keep you entertained and cheap beer all night, this promises to be a spectacular event. Here are some words from the Grimm team about the night and the films on show:
Its gonna be a blast! Fancy dress (Optional), Beer from £1.50 per bottle, late night bar, three great zombie flicks (Two premieres and one HD remastered classic) on the big screen. What more could any self respecting horror fan want?
Juan of The Dead (Pre-Release Screening): Official media refer to the attacks as isolated incidents provoked by Cuban dissidents paid by the US government. Little by little Juan and his friends start to realize that the attackers are not normal human beings and that killing them is quite a difficult task. They’re not vampires, they’re not possessed, but they’re definitely not dissidents; a simple bite turns the victim into other violent killing machine and the only way to beat them is destroying their brains…
War of The Dead (Northwest Premiere): A platoon of American and Finnish soldiers is driven deep into a Russian forest where its Captain discovers a terrifying secret.
The Return of the Living Dead (Remastered): In this genre defining classic, , three men and a gang of punks must do what they can to quell the threat that the now undead pose to an unsuspecting town., after the accidental release of chemicals that bring the dead back to life,
About The Author – Tom Bielby
Long time film fan and aspiring film writer, Tom is a horror fanatic who wasted far too much time at University sitting through every film in the IMDB Top 250. He is partial to foreign films and cult cinema and would love to rid the world of people who rustle their popcorn during important scenes. He can be found on Twitter under the alias @filmbantha
Are you brave enough to sit through Grave Encounters or do found footage films leave you chilled to the bone? Let me know your thoughts below…