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Well the movie begins as a promising, serious scary experience, but as the plot unfolds it unravels into sheer comedy and makes fun of itself, which was kind of amusing to me, but may be not so for other people, specially if one is looking for a scared-the-s**t-out-of-me movie and this is why I rated it 5/10. The impression one gets by watching this movie is that either the director did not know where he was heading while the scenes were being shot or that the editors really tried hard to assemble their own version of the story, considering the discrepancy of how the movie begins and the way it ends, since it goes from aural depiction of the ominous into Ghostbusters-like cgi effects.
Gravedancers is one of those films that just plays fun. While watching it you think how much fun the makers must have had cause the gleeful way in which it plays out suggests that. essentially, three friends dance on some graves during a drunken night of mourning a recently deceased friend. Of course, this being a horror film they get more than they bargained for since a curse is laid on them and the spirits of the occupants of the three graves come back for revenge. The cast is uniformly strong, especially Tcheky Karyo and Clare Kramer. The FX are strong, although they are used sparingly and effectively. The climax is a nod to Evil Dead II and cements the old school style of the film. All in all, a fun fright flick.
Dominic 'Prison Break' Purcell gets drunk with two of his friends and
they all dance on graves which doesn't sit well while the insane dead
people who's graves they're dancing on and the ghosts decide to haunt
these fools. OK, granted the plot is not the most stable, but I found
myself enjoying this throwback to '80's horror film none the less. If
you forgive the opening sequence that has jack all to do with the rest
of the film and the mind baffling climax that turns a pretty cool
little horror flick into a borderline comedy, you'll find yourself with
a decent film. One capable of providing a few thrills and chills.
Purcell was good as the main lead. Almost made me forgive Mike Mandez
for "Bimbo Movie Bash"... ALMOST.
My Grade: B
Lionsgate's DVD Extras (R1): Commentary by director Mike Mendez and composer Joe Bashara; 13 minute Making of featurette; deleted scenes; 12 minute look at the making of the ghosts(all of the aforementioned extras have optional commentary) ; storyboard gallery ;3 minute promo trailer; an After Dark compilation trailer; and trailers for Unrest, Reincarnation, the Hamiltons, Dark Ride, & Penny Dreadful
Easter Egg: In the special features menu, highlight the "Also from Lion's Gate" icon and press right for a grave marker icon, click it for a short scene of how a certain effect was done
Mike Mendez really surprised me with this one back in 2007. I saw the trailer about a year prior to watching the film, and it somehow didn't look all that promising to me. But the movie itself actually turned out pretty damn good. Up until then, I wasn't exactly convinced if Mendez would be able to come up with a more serious horror-effort (without the goofy, violent splatter-nonsense imprinted on his previous film, "The Convent"). Let alone one that would actually work this well... Decent story, decent acting, decent effects, decent scares for a film this modestly sized. And even a "Poltergeist"-like climax (sort of, and pretty over-the-top too). I see no reason to ignore this fun clump of scary horror. Entertaining stuff for a dark & stormy night.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a horror buff and have seen quite a few horror movies. I really liked this movie. I gave this movie high ranks for the really well done makeup and the interesting characterizations, but mainly for the intense feel to the plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The first third of the movie is a bit of a bump-in-the-night portion, that elegantly sets up the latter two-thirds of the movie, as the action builds and the three friends attempt to survive the haunting. The creature affects were some of the most horrifying that I have ever seen (it is the sort of work that gives one nightmares).
You had Dominic Purcell from TV's "Prison Break". He was also in
"Blade:Trinity". Josie Moran is from "Van Helsing" which had Hugh
Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Moran played one of the vampire brides.
Tchecky Karyo (sp?) is known for "Taking Lives" with Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke. He was also in the James Band flick, "GoldenEye". I first saw him in the original "La Femme Nikita" (the French 1990 version). He is an excellent actor.
By the way, the movie was actually pretty good. The ending was kind of cheesy, but it was still entertaining. It was the least bloody, and gory, of all of the Horrorfest flicks. It is currently out on DVD. Check it out. You'll like it.
I have been eagerly awaiting Mendez's next film, since the The Convent, which was one of my favorite horror films' that year. While Gravdancers is a much more serious, and different film from Convent, I still had a blast.I have one minor complaint, but first I'll start with the good. Number one as several others have mentioned, it's refreshing to see a genre film with actual adult actors, who are reasonably intelligent, although dancing on graves isn't to bright, and not the usual stereotypes. The production values are top notch, and it's just amazing how superior Gravedancers is to virtually every other tired Hollywood supernatural snooze fest to come out over the last several years'. Buffy fans will take delight in Carol Kramer's performance as Purcell's wife. Now my one minor complaint. Dominic Purcell seems like a wooden, and uninteresting actor to me. I didn't mind him so much, as I just was thinking about a hundred other guys who would have been better in the role. I'm probably alone on that, as Prison Break is so popular, but just a minor observation. I highly recommend this movie.
A rather good offering of horror and the supernatural to behold. Think a better version of the remake of "The Haunting" with a bit of "The Entity" thrown in as well. The movie revolves around a group of three friends who are in mourning for the recent loss of a friend. One of the group wants to go to the cemetery at night to mourn the friend by drinking and talking with his other two college buds. Of course, you know in a movie of this type that is a mistake and is going to lead to the cause of the problem. Well not entirely, the one friend finds a type of card on their friend's grave, with a bit of a poem celebrating life on it, one of course does this by dancing on graves and yes this is the start of the spooky stuff as the title does imply. So what we have is our three friends seemingly being haunted, minimally at first and it progresses worse and worse as the movie goes on. Paranormal investigators are brought in to try and help and one of them is really helpful, the other not so much. I won't tell you which one is which, but I will tell the female one is really cute. I love a girl with black hair and kind of a bookish look to her. You will have to wait a bit for some kills, but that is okay as the movie has a good enough story to overcome this. It isn't all perfect as there is a bit of confusion as to why the letter is set on the grave in the first place though I do suppose it adds a hint of mystery to the flick. Just like the poor unfortunate girl who is shown at the beginning. Some of the effects at the end were a bit cheesy as well, however, this can be forgiven too because I doubt this movie had a very big budget. I can say though that the spooks looked rather good.
First of all, I'm one of those people who go into horror movies and
ending up laughing at every little thing in it. This movie is probably
on the same level of SNAKES ON A PLANE. So if you liked that movie, I'd
say you'd like this. It has the same sense of the movie SEEMS serious,
but it can't possibly be serious because of the ridiculousness.
The last few minutes of the movie made me laugh till I cried my brains out. It really was a great time.
The photography in the movie was brilliant. There were beautifully put-together scenes.
The plot line, eh, it was okay at best.
But you can't go into movies like these being pretentious or demanding that your expectations be met.
In order to truly enjoy a movie, you have to take it for what it is, not for what you want it to be. Different people are scared by different things.
And as for me, I just laugh at everything.
This film was just friggin awesome, though I think one of the few
detractors is the title, which is quite cheesy and probably turned
quite a few people away from the rental. Other than that and some hokey
"Evil Dead" animation at the end, this film totally delivers as
promised! If you want a great horror film that will have you jumping
when you least expect it, check it out. This is definitely a keeper in
my book and I'll be reaching for it when I want to see my friends
jumping too! My chief complaint with the movie is the way it devolved
toward the end and payed good homage to the the original Evil Dead film
(it's one of my favorite classics, but goes a bit overboard toward the
end). Overall, I gotta say I loved it.
Oh yeah, one other serious detractor was the second male lead; bad, bad, bad acting. Who was this guy, the director's brother? Just ignore him though, Gravedancers delivers where it promises... right at the seat of your shorts!
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