Grave Encounters (2011)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

A good set-up for a found footage film

Story feels like rehash of every other haunted story, nothing distinctive

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Grave Encounters

Studio:  West Wing Studios

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  June 1, 2011

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Did somebody say pizza burgers?!?!

A ghost hunters camera crew led by Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) is investigating Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital where local legend has it ghosts roam the corridors.  The non-believers spend the evening shooting and patrolling the hospital searching for evidence of the supernatural…as dawn begins to approach something happens.  The paths of the hospital begin to switch and the ways out aren’t evident.  The horror is awakening and surviving the endless night might not be possible.

Directed by the Vicious Brothers, Grave Encounters is a found footage horror film.  The Canadian film was met with mixed reviews, but some critics praised its scares and horror.

I saw Grave Encounters on a list of “horror movies you haven’t seen but should”.  I had a lot of hope for movie despite scary similarities to The Blair Witch Project which I didn’t like…unfortunately the movie did follow the path of The Blair Witch Project for the most part.


Let’s go up to the lab and see what’s on the slab!

Found footage movies are always tricky and this has the same problem as almost every found footage movie…if the footage is found, the people shooting it didn’t meet a great fate.  It also means you shouldn’t get involved in the lives of the characters since they are doomed.  This holds true of Grave Encounters which starts out with a concept, but once it gets going is rather directionless.  It could be much scarier than it really is.

The story does a great job setting up the story but doesn’t fully utilize the set-up.  There needs to be a really good reason to shoot footage during all the horror and this movie at least justifies it by having a lame TV series as the basis.  The film crew aspect allows for a little better shooting, but the movie really doesn’t capitalize on this.


This guy is so good at hide-and-seek!

Grave Encounters better scares come from suspense.  There are a number of jumps in the film, but I enjoyed the suspense to the jump more than the rather predictable jump.  Little sights in the background of the footage is scarier than the obvious scare set-ups of a ghost patient in the corner or a horror in a bloody bathtub.

Grave Encounters isn’t the worst horror film you’ll ever see but I wish it was scarier.  I suppose I’m a bit jaded by horror film having seen so many.  It is nice to see that classic tropes like the “haunted asylum” still exist but I would like a more reflective look back on them.  Grave Encounters did spawn a sequel in Grave Encounters 2 in 2012.

Related Links:

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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