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Mike Mendez directs this supernatural horror that manages to be a great
mix of the darkly humorous with the deadly serious and the clichéd with
The story is a pretty simple one; three friends (Dominic Purcell, Josie Maran and Marcus Thomas) let their hair down after the funeral of another friend of theirs. The night ends with them dancing on some graves and making themselves the focus of attention for some very angry spirits. Some mildly spooky behaviour soon escalates and the trio find out that they only have a limited timeframe in which to fix things before they are dragged off by the angry spirits. Can a couple of paranormal investigators (played by Tchéky Karyo and Megahn Perry) help? Is there anything that can undo the damage that has been done?
Providing a great mix of low-key spookiness with some nice jump scares and creepy imagery, The Gravedancers is one of the better "little" horror movies you could treat yourself to watching. The acting is all okay, if nothing special, and the effects are very well done, for the most part. There are a few twists and turns here and there but, by and large, this is a straightforward thrill-ride. Yes, there are moments when it comes very close to being impossible to swallow but it just, somehow, manages to keep you onside and involved with the plight of the characters so that you're too busy wanting to see someone get saved than wondering just how far-fetched it's all getting.
I'd like to see more from Mike Mendez. On the basis of this movie, he knows how the genre works and makes the most out of the little moments of unease in between the big scares. Which is a major asset for anyone making horror, in my book.
See this if you like: Flatliners, Night Of The Demon, Drag Me To Hell.
...till I'm sure that you're dead!(B.Dylan) Profanations have become
frequent nowadays and it is a burning subject which deserved a
responsible writer and a reliable director.
The movie fails twice: mediocre story,poor acting,awful directing relying on horrible (and non-scary) special effects.The movie hits rock bottom when they hire ghost busters (from a famous university of course),one of them is the unfortunate Tcheky Karyo in what is perhaps the worst part of his career;he is abetted by a bubble head assistant (collaborator,she says)."The night of the living dead" has still no contenders in this field.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mike Mendez has the talent to direct a really great horror film. However, Gravedancers is not it. Gravedancers is not a bad flick. Actually, it's one of the better films from the first After Dark Horrorfest. But it's just silly enough to keep it from reaching the "classic" echelon. The plot follows a group of old college friends who gather to attend a funeral for one of their own. They drink a little alcohol to celebrate their fallen compadre and pretty soon are dancing on graves; hence the title. The ghosts of said graves aren't particularly impressed with their dance skills and decide to haunt them and make their lives a living hell until the next full moon. It sounds a little wacky, no? It is, and it hurts the film. It straddles the line between cheesy and terrifying a little too much often tipping the scales into the cheesy territory. But when's it's terrifying, MAN! Mendez packs a genuine thrill into the scares. There are a couple of scenes that rivaled Exorcist III on the jump scale. For that alone I have to recommend you give this a look. Just remember I warned you about the goofy parts and you will probably enjoy Gravedancers. For the next, drop the comedy Mendez.
Wow! I get to see Tchéky Karyo (The Patriot) two days in a row. I just
watched him with Nick Nolte in The Good Thief, and now here he is as a
ghost hunter (yeah, right) with a beautiful assistant Megahn Perry.
But, they come in later.
First, there is the grave dancing - and grave pissing. I am sure everyone has at least thought about pissing or dancing on someone's grave. Well, you might want to rethink that after seeing this film, especially if you are the type that watches "Ghost Hunters" on TV. Hee Hee.
After doing the drunken deeds, our heroes: Dominic Purcell (Primeval, Equilibrium), Josie Maran (Van Helsing) and Marcus Thomas (Edmond), are getting their reward - crazed spirits after them.
This spooky film has it all: creaky sound, apparitions, super special effects, blood and gore, and perversion in what i would call a traditional horror film. There is enough to keep your interest throughout, and certainly enough to keep you jumping out of your seat.
And, hey, I wonder who did the casting here as I see a couple of more people from The Patriot?
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
I have to say out of the 8 films of horror, this was the best so far.. It was scary, spooky, funny and a plausible plot.. THe movie starts out with a death of a friend, the old pals get together and end up reading what they thought was a poem but turn out to be a spell.. They dance on graves and then it starts.. This movie was well done and well acted.. It had some really scary creepy moments.. THe fires, the haunting etc.. I did not like the ending well the almost ending before the real one as if you are watching the movie the skull was never end the bag.. I love whether it was intentional or not the GHoul Mary Poppins.. I thought I would die from laughter.. All in all this was a very good,scary movie, perfect for a raining night with all the lights off..
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.
This kind of films, and I guess all of the films of Horrorfest, appeal to me! I can hardly wait for all of them to be in my collection! This is just criminal, letting me wait for so long! I really enjoy movies with such an attitude: Show all, leave nothing out! Am I a horror freak? ;) Guess I am then... well, someone's gotta do the business and keep it alive, keep it going! ;) Question, why are there so many horror movie releases at the moment, is the genre back alive? I certainly hope so because more of this could be the death of the contents of my wallet! Well, then I should work even harder so I can buy even more! ;) And nothing or no one will stop me! Not even the ghost of my wallet!
Out of the 8 films I saw during the "8 Films to Die For" over this past weekend, The Gravedancers was the best. I think it was the "ghosts" that scared the crap out of me. UGLY UGLY UGLY....plain old' scary looking. They're something you don't really ever see in horror movies. I give this a 10 just for the creepiness and originality. Now.....someone tell me where I can buy this! :-) If anyone has a chance again to see this, and you truly are a horror fan, please see this movie, it's well worth it. Plus, if anyone knows where I can purchase this movie, I'd appreciate it so much if you could let me know. Thanks!
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