We were looking for a horror paranormal movie or series and came upon this obscure story taken down from Netflix and available on YouTube. It’s a Canadian movie combining horror and paranormal shows.
This is a grave encounter of the footage kind!
Grave Encounters is a 2011 Canadian found footage supernatural horror film. The footage follows the crew of a paranormal reality television program who lock themselves in a haunted psychiatric hospital in search of evidence of paranormal activity as they shoot what ends up becoming their final episode. — Wikipedia
The overall premise of the movie is that a group of young adults go to haunted places and document their research. The ghost hunter company already aired the first five episodes but stopped when receiving the sixth and final one, which reveals disturbing footage.
So, the viewer isn’t stuck with a moving camera the entire time. However, when the movie starts, after the reveal of the “sixth episode” found footage acting as the overall scenario, we meet the team.
The paranormal team, if the viewer has a familiarity with ghost shows, can recognize the Paranormal State-inspired intro. However, throughout the shooting of the episode, I couldn’t help but think about Ghost Adventures! It’s a well thought out idea from the director to create a familiarity for the audience to connect.
The movie revolves around a 20th century fictional Maryland’s Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital. The team gets a tour by the warden, who explains the horrific past of the building.
The hospital looks more like a Victorian house, not quite mansion size, but definitely not small. The interior resembles one of a vintage caring building. Abandoned, the place shows graffiti on the walls, but most tools and equipment intact.
The movie confirms a lot of what skeptic people would think when watching a ghost show. They go around and interview the people working on set from the warden to the gardener who says he had never experienced until given a few bucks to say otherwise.
The Grave Encounters’ team operates similarly to Ghost Adventures with a “lockdown” procedure.
They have one main cameraman, one girl who document everything and act as a second paranormal expert, while you have the technician left with the entire video tech and the host. The extra guy showing up is a psychic who reveals himself to be a con artist when they film their “investigation” and go off-camera.
At first, the viewer witnesses a team of paranormal investigators’ behind the scene organization.
They want to believe in the existence of ghosts, but once they face, nothing is wrong with the place, they must twist the truth and pay a gardener and bring in a fake psychic. A classic This is a grave encounter of the footage kind with con artists and fake renders.
At the beginning of the movie, the producer explains the show. He says that Grave Encounters were actually the first of their kind to submit their work.
Preceding pioneers of the genre such as Ghost Hunters T.A.P.S. and Paranormal State in reality television documentary. It makes you wonder what happens behind the scenes of those shows. We know about Paranormal State, but what about the others?
Once the team agrees nothing was going to happen, they decide to pack up their tech and leave the place. It implies that the “lockdown” was, in fact, a lie, and they could leave whenever they wish.
However, once ready to open the door, they realize the warden truly locked them down inside the abandoned hospital with a shady past.
At this point in the movie, things start to go south for the team. The technician goes missing. They go after him only to find themselves either walking in a circle or are lost inside the hospital.
Separated in the two teams, filming everything and seeing through the fixed cameras, the ghost hunters can’t seem to find their way out of the building.
As a result, the cameraman decides it’s time to burst their way out. No matter the attempt, the door won’t open. However, when he tries one last time, it finally opens…to a corridor. It turned out they were not facing the exit to the outside. The team is now in a state of paranoia.
As the movie progress, we see each member succumbing to paranoia, and high levels of anxiety spread through the remaining of the team. The cameraman is the only one coming up with ideas to leave the establishment. Victim of two violent ghost attacks, he orders the host not to go through the underground tunnels but instead the roof to use the fire escape to leave.
The team follows the cameraman to the roof only to find out the staircase leads to a nonexistent exit. There is no door but only a wall. The panel of “Roof Exit” is fixed on the wall leading up but no entries.
Perplexed, paranoia intensifies, and the team starts asking questions about the host’s intention to document everything. They recall the warden explaining all windows have grids, as it was a psychiatric hospital after all.
Agonizing screams, cries, and lamentations come through. The team experiences mass hysteria. Each attempt to leave the building leads to failure. They either find themselves in a corridor that never existed or a wall or running in a circle. It truly is a This is a grave encounter of the footage kind!
When all is lost, and the psychic goes missing, the remaining trio faces even more disturbing facts. All windows show complete darkness, but their clocks and watches clearly show afternoon time. It was as if the warden never came because it’s night outside, yet time goes on, and daylight never comes.
Another spooky fact is happening to the team. They are all wearing psychiatric admission bracelets around their wrist.
Many personal ghostly attacks occur to each individual of the teams, and sometimes, it’s the entire group facing a horrific factor. Either way, the ideas are great to eliminate each member one by one.
However, I am stopping here. I can’t tell you more as the ending is quite entertaining!
Overall, the movie is quite enjoyable. The general consensus shows division on the matter of the movie, but as a paranormal viewer, I did have a good time. The recycled idea of the “footage found” theme genre doesn’t bother me. I like it when it’s well done and documented and, of course, has a purpose.
The horror factor is excellent, and it pulls you in quickly. Maybe I’m not entirely objective because I always wanted to conduct a paranormal investigation in a psychiatric hospital.
As a Canadian movie, I believe this one to be good and well done. It made its money back and way more, which allowed it to become a franchise. I often find those to be unnecessary, as this one was great and should end where it did.
This is a This is a grave encounter of the footage kind and I give it a strong 7.5! I recommend it to every ghost hunting show fan out there! You can’t regret watching this one!