Part of the expectation with found footage movies is that the you’re going to see a modest production that relies on creepy horror instead of effects or spectacle or anything too over-the-top. Found footage is often a shortcut for production values.
So that’s why the mostly not very good, but ultimately satisfying Grave Encounters is a refreshing change of pace. You have all the ingredients for a low-key found footage horror movie: bad actors left to improvise, a chintzy reality TV premise, a dumpy set, obvious humor, and reliance on gimmicks like a window moving ever-so-slightly. So it goes. They can’t all be Paranormal Activity.
But once you think you’ve got a bead on Grave Encounters, it pulls a fast one. Let me stress that you’re not getting a good movie. Instead, you’re getting a fun haunted house thrill ride. And in horror movies, that’ll do just fine.
Grave Encounters is currently available as video on demand. I recommend enjoying it with a group.