OCTOBER HORROR MASSACRE - DAY 1!
Ghost Watch (1992) / Grave Encounters (2011)
I’m kicking off my (attempted) month long horror movie marathon with a double-bill of found-footage ghost films. Both films feature a fake “Ghost Hunters” type of film crew running into the real thing, though one film is much more effective than the other.
“Ghost Watch” is, and continues to be, the scariest movie i’ve ever seen. No hyperbole. I’m sure many would scoff at the dated clothes and hairstyles, the laughable terminology (“gloryholes”), and a few of the more over-the-top effects towards the end, but not me. I’ve never seen a horror movie do such a good job at getting my guard down, and getting under my skin while never showing too much. It’s an old favourite, and it’s the only movie i’ve ever seen that never stops being as effective and scary as the first time i watched it.
On the other hand, “Grave Encounters” does an admirable job of tackling a very similar premise, but it’s self-sabotaging. For everything that works (never-ending hallways, re-arranging architecture, the hopelessness of being trapped in an asylum during an eternal night…), we get a few things that really DO NOT work, and just pull you out of the film. I don’t know why the film makers thought long-mouthed CGI ghosts are scary, but they aren’t. They just serve to cheese up any atmosphere the directors had gathered up to that point. That said, it’s still a fun film, and worth it for a few good moments, and some funny character work.