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Next on Netflix: Horror close to home

30 March 2014 By Eva Niessner, Staff Writer No Comments

If you’re anything like me, you take a lot of pleasure in watching shows where people stand in the dark and scream and try to catch ghosts on a night-vision camera – usually to no avail.

When they’re done, the investigators point to dust specks caught on tape and claim they’re spirits.

It’s really entertaining, partially because it’s so ridiculous.

But what would happen if it were true?

That’s the premise of “Grave Encounters,” a found-footage style horror movie that supposedly was recovered from the cameras of a film crew that went into a Maryland asylum for a new episode.

Though the host, Lance, hams up the spookiness of the location for the viewers, the footage makes it clear he doesn’t actually believe in ghosts.

He and his crew spend the night in the asylum and wait for morning to come so that they can be released…but morning never comes.

Though time continues to pass, the sun doesn’t come up, and the caretaker never arrives to unlock the door.

The crew has to find a way out before the ghosts of the asylum find them instead.

The last 20 minutes of “Grave Encounters” is kind of too much (it’s like they took all the ‘haunted asylum’ tropes and stuffed them in, with some devil worship on the side).

But I was a lot more impressed with the buildup of the movie than I thought I was going to be.

Like “The Blair Witch Project,” the really unnerving thing about the movie is the slow breakdown of friendships as bickering, fear and confusion creep in.

The realization that the crew is hopelessly lost in the building with limited food and light is much creepier than the eventual ghosts that do show up at the end.

That’s what’s really scary, right?

Realizing your jokes and bravery and carelessness were all wrong, and you probably should have listened to the warnings.

This movie isn’t going to win any filmmaking awards, and it’s certainly not the scariest I’d ever seen, but it’s entertaining and a good quick watch.

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