Hello it is the ninth day of October so it is Day 9 of my little month of horror. So I watched THREE horror movies today but one is part of a franchise that I’m going to save for an entire article just about that franchise so I’ll be writing about the OTHER two today. I watched Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz’s found footage Grave Encounters and Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie remake.
3… 2… 1… Will go BOOM
Grave Encounters (2011)
Grave Encounters is a story about a film crew working on a paranormal research ghost hunting show that decides to do an 8-hour lockdown in an abandoned mental asylum, as there have been “reports” of strange happenings. As night sets in however, their sense of time starts to become skewed and odd, creepy things start happening that make them question whether or not they really are the charlatans they believe themselves to be.
This movie is difficult to place because the first half and the end are SO solid but the middle, when the actual ghost monster things show up, is REALLY not scary at all. There’s a scene that just sort of happens involving a bunch of black hands coming out of the ceiling and it was all just so unimpressive. The first half of the movie is great, though. It starts off as the ghost hunting show and you see the behind the scenes stuff, like telling the gardener to “just make something up.” I like that idea a lot actually because ghost hunting shows are really dumb (I love them because they’re so stupid, but they’re still INCREDIBLY stupid).
So then the creepy stuff sets in and it’s all your typical horror stuff. Friend disappears, doors kind of REALLY subtly moving, things slowly starting to unravel, etc. That stuff is SOLID. Then we see this creepy little lady and she turns around and her face stretches out all weird and for the next 45 minutes we are treated to camera malfunctions, jump cuts, and non-frightening cgi hand things.
Finally the end of the movie rolls around and the last 20-35 minutes or so are back up to pretty solid again. Then we get to the ENDING ending and it’s super predictable but still pretty fun. So the movie was a little disappointing but when it’s good, it’s a lot of fun. Worth watching in a group, but don’t expect anyone but babies to get truly frightened, especially around the 3/4 mark.
Oh Carrie. I have the same problems with you as I had with the original. I just have trouble suspending my disbelief that high schoolers can be that psychotic. I have no problem with the telekinesis. I just have a really hard time believing anyone is as crazy as the bully girl. This version did a couple things better than the original here and there, but overall it was kind of unnecessary.
Oh and for those of you who AREN’T familiar with the plot of the film (identical, basically, to the original), it’s about a super sheltered girl whose mom is as crazy religious as you can get. She has her period in the shower and all of the terrible high school girls throw tampons at her and long story short Carrie has telekinesis and USES THE HELL OUT OF IT.
The performances were good all around. I liked the incorporation of modern technology into her humiliation. It was a damn fine looking movie. The climactic ending sequence was pretty awesome. But really, when you get right down to it, this movie kind of lacked a point. If you’ve seen the original, there are NO surprises here. It’s not a shot-for-shot remake, but besides the era in which it takes place, there is very little to separate this from the original. To me, that’s a bad thing. If you’re going to remake a classic horror movie, then you’ll want to scare us. Doing the same thing the last one did isn’t very scary. This was more gory, yes, but since when has simple gore been scary? Gore is AWESOME, but this was just so pointless because it was so predictable.
So I guess it’s worth watching if you either LOVE the old Carrie and want a way better-looking, modern-set version OR if you haven’t seen the original and you don’t know what this is about. If you are totally brand new to the concept of this movie (and haven’t seen the trailer because it literally gives EVERY TWIST away – I am not exaggerating), then it should actually be REALLY good. So yeah if you are one of the fortunate few that knows little to nothing about either Carrie, then by all means, watch the hell out of this.
Also in my opinion the only thing the original REALLY has over this remake is Carrie’s mom (Julianne Moore was amazing but there’s no beating Piper Laurie in the ’76 version) and John Travolta.
Anyway today I was a little underwhelmed but I guess I had a lot to write about so whatever. Both of these movies are on Netflix and regardless of my nitpicking, if you’re as big a fan of horror as I am, they are both worth your time.