Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
An overzealous film crew tries to exploit an abandoned psychiatric hospital to make a film. Scary things happen to them. But it's all based on (kinda) true events!
Is it good movie?
This one comes to us from a chip off the old Stone block (Oliver Stone,
that is), Sean Stone. This is a fake docudrama style flick that tries
to convince you that its phony ghost-hunters style movie might have
actually happened. If you need more specifics on the plot, just watch
In fact, you might want to stick with Grave Encounters because this one
really isn't worth your time. The movie starts off strongly
enough, as a few adults are discussing scary things and one of those
adults is Oliver Stone himself! Of course, it doesn't take long for one
of them to have the whereabouts of a truly scary location that they
could shoot footage in. There are three of them- Sean, Alex and
Antonella (all going by their real names to add authenticity) and
they're ready to check it out. Seems that this particular old,
abandoned mental hospital used to feature a mean staff who came up with
inhuman ways of torturing their tenants. The two marquee ghost
character are Billy (who is adorned in a gas mask and chains) and Crazy
Kate, who's just a plain old scary ghost with green eyes.
This one is clearly an attempt to cash in on the found footage genre by
mixing it with "true events" which are essentially the actors trying to
tell you their real, personal accounts and beliefs while the rest of
the flick is totally made up. The movie is just so incoherent that it's
hard to make any sense of it. The characters run around cursing a lot
in the dark- there isn't too much else to enjoy.
Let me just note- this movie can unquestionably be scary, but it
doesn't work for any of its scares. Yes, of course if you stick me in a
dark room alone with loud noises and quick, scary imagery, I'll get a
good jolt. With that said, a jolt isn't enough to make a good movie.
There's nothing else in this flick to differentiate it from any other
"ghost hunters gone wrong" movie that's out there. Yes, there are tense
moments that'll get a good rise out of you when you watch but it just
doesn't add up. On top of that, the movies is one of those "something
super scary is going to happen" deals, except it doesn't always pay
There's plenty of scary sound effects to be thrown in there, so if you
don't like loud noises, avoid this film. And you'll have to rely a lot
on the sound too, because the movie is so dark that it becomes
downright unwatchable at times. And when things do get scary, the
camera gets incredibly shaky, blurry and just jump-cuts all over the
place. Yeah, you get the same old infighting between cast members as
the movie goes on, and the whole thing tries to build to a big twist
ending in the name of being "psychological" but it absolutely doesn't
If there's anything good I can say about this flick, its that it does
have a sort of cool, subliminal vibe for it, whether it's intentional
or not I'm not sure. If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll definitely
notice some shadowy "What was that" figures moving about which aren't
often mentioned and come off quite effectively. Neat stuff. Too bad it
barely gets featured.
Video / Audio
Video comes in 1.78 widescreen and looks blurry and
smeared, like it's supposed to.
Audio comes in Dolby 5.1 surround and sounds just
like a crappy home movie.
There's a commentary track with
Sean Stone, Alex Wraith and Antontella Lentini (the cast), who tend to
go way off track when not talking about the film, though there is some
interesting stuff in here.
There's a brief making of Featurette
and a Locations of Greystone Park
featurette included, the first being a pretty standard making-of EPK
sort of deal with the cast and crew, while the locations one is fairly
meaty, providing some cool insight into where the movie was filmed.
Finally, there's a pretty awful alternate
Greystone Park can be spooky in the right setting, but the movie doesn't make much sense, is really dark, and just feels tired. There are so many more found footage flicks to check out before this one becomes your best option.