This sequel to Grave Encounters was something that had me intrigued because I quite liked the original film. I was glad to see them keep up the game of playing about with the found footage film format and give us a sequel that expands on the original but still manages to deliver its own share of creepy moments
This film starts with clips of internet reviewers and their different opinions of the first film which claimed to be the recordings of the last ever show of one of those ghost hunter shows that plague cable television called Grave Encounters. There’s a fair amount of negative review included in this section especially from the last reviewer, a film student called Alex Wright (Richard Harmon).
This last guy is our main character and he has very strong opinions about the state of modern horror and he takes a big swipe at the found footage genre, especially Paranormal Activity. Since all the characters in this film are film students they all have cameras and they record everything. This includes Alex’s room-mate Trevor (Dylan Playfair) and another student Jared (Howie Lai) who has a large high quality camera. Most of the students are enjoying themselves at a Halloween party but Alex is stuck in his room obsessing over his YouTube channel where had posted his review that we saw earlier. Trevor comes in to tell Alex that the woman he likes and who likes him Jennifer (Leanne Lapp) is at the party and asking about him.
Alex has received a video reply to his review from someone called Death Awaits. This has footage of Sean Rogerson the actor playing the main character Lance Preston from Grave Encounters, apparently in a hospital ward with stuff flying at him. This footage interests him enough to start looking in the background of the film and what he finds convinces him that Grave Encounters was not fiction but reality pretending to be fiction. He gets so distracted that he calls a halt to the film he is making for a re-write or more like a re-think. His friends are getting worried about him.
Alex manages to contact Sean Rogerson’s mother and she invites them over to talk to Scott but when he goes there with Trevor and Jared they get tossed out by the Mrs Rogerson’s nurse who explains that the woman is suffering from dementia. Alex thinks he’s reached a dead end when his mysterious contact Death Awaits sends him information about an advert being shot by the producer Jerry Hartfield in Hollywood. He heads off and tricks his way onto the set. He gets thrown off the set but later offers Alex an interview with no cameras. Alex sneaks a camera into the interview anyway and records Hartfield admitting that Grave Encounters was real and that he put it together and made it look like a film as a cover-up including adding dodgy CGI effects to make it look less realistic. It is a pretty amusing sequence and it shows a healthy awareness of the criticisms of the film by incorporating them in this story. I liked the bit where Hartfield introduces the Vicious Brothers are the directors of Grave Encounters but Hatfield says they are just his interns.
When Alex shows his video to his friends they have to admit there is something worth investigating. Alex tell them he wants the investigation to be his film project and he wants to go to Canada to the empty mental hospital where it was filmed and do his own investigation His contact Death Awaits also wants to meet with him there. He convinces his friends to along with him even though some such as Trevor are doubtful. Trevor’s girlfriend Tessa (Stephanie Bennett) is the only person I haven’t mentioned and she’s the fifth member of the team.
Once they get to the hospital they get chased away by an armed security guard so come back later at night and break into the hospital. At this point we get a re-run of the original film as they set up their cameras and try to contact the spirits. This time the spooky stuff starts happening pretty quickly and people start to die or disappear. There a bit more background into the hospital which is actively trying to keep them there.
I thought this film was pretty good and keeps up with the feel of the original film. The CGI was used a bit better, though some effects still looked a bit cheesy. It had some really creepy scenes. The cast were okay though most didn’t get that much development. If you enjoyed the first film you’ll probably like this one too.