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After a drunken wake, old pals Harris (Dominic Purcell), Sid (Marcus
Thomas) and Kira (Josie Maran) pay a night-time visit to the grave of a
recently deceased friend where they discover a mourner's card
advocating 'living for the moment' by dancing on the graves of the
dead. The trio decide to do just that, but of all of the plots in the
cemetery, they opt to cut the rug on the graves of three rather
particularly wicked souls, a child pyromaniac, an axe murderer, and a
sadomasochistic rapist, all of whom take serious offence at the
desecration of their final resting places.
The Gravedancers starts out in routine ghost-story fashion, with its scary supernatural occurrences taking the predictable form of creaking doors, strange noises, and the occasional, briefly-glimpsed spectral apparition; 'Ho-hum', I thought to myself, 'here we go again'. But as the film developed, it took a delightfully unexpected turn, taking an approach that I can only describe as 'Scooby Doo' for adults, with its well realised spooks and the introduction of a pair of 'ghostbusters' (Tchéky Karyo as paranormal investigator Vincent, and Megahn Perry as his sexy Velma-alike colleague Frances).
From here-on in, the film is loads of fun, with a hugely entertaining scene in the cemetery where the friends attempt to exhume the ghosts' corpses (during which Kira is trapped inside a coffin and slowly dragged into the ground), a really creepy bit where the friends are drawn into the killers' virtual worlds (the rapists lair being particularly spooky), and an exciting showdown against the spirits in an old mansion. Director Mike Mendez unwisely resorts to a glut of CGI effects for his film's OTT finale, an unnecessary move that ends matters on something of a bum note, but even so, I reckon the film is still well worth a rating of 8/10.
This movie is pretty inventive, and it takes its time setting up the
scenario. Naturally that's important because if a film features
characters disrespecting the dead and dancing on top of graves, it
takes some effort getting the audience to invest in these people.
Therefore they get significant character focus though admittedly the lead couple receive the most focus. Kira soon gets found in terrible condition by the leads and therefore she isn't seen much under normal conditions. Actually their personalities don't stand out much although they are pretty likable characters, particularly Vincent.
The ghosts stand out from many recent ghost-related films, they have strangely odd eyes, demented grins and sometimes their limbs bent oddly (that might only have been one in particular, I'm not sure). Their attacks are based on their own crimes in their lives, giving them individuality.
"The Gravedancers" is a very story-dependent horror film, and therefore there isn't much gore, for those interested mainly in violence. There are several attacks but because the ghosts usually intend to torment their victims instead of immediately killing them, the (onscreen) violence is quite tame compared to films focused primarily on a high body count.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The plot is that a group of college friends attend the funeral of a
classmate, and at a drunken party at his grave, find a card with an
incantation, which extols them to dance on the graves of others. And of
course, they do so on the graves of three killers, because, hey, what
fun would it be if they were haunted by dead librarians or something.
Seriously, more plot convenience than a 7-11.
But the movie is save by some okay special effects and some decent acting, and some not bad dialog. Lesser hands like the ones who produce 90% of the horror direct to video schlock could have screwed this up.
It drags in parts and the final plot device (A paranormal investigator decides to keep the skulls of the ghosts so they can get proof of ghosts) is kind of silly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I like horror movies with a preference toward haunted house movie and old school horror, and I like this movie... up to a point. The premise: three friends get drunk after a funeral and dance at the cemetery on graves in the area for the deranged. Afterwards, they become haunted by the psychos over whose bodies they danced. Why? Because a mysterious person left behind a chant which they... just happened to announce out loud. The premise is good, but the why is contrived. The story is scary, the ghosts are casual and the chain of events is preposterous as is the ghost hunters who risk their safety to help them. It is very hard for me to believe that the parapsychologist in the movie would go to such extreme ways and such a leap of faith to dig up some graves and follow a ridiculous mystical ritual instead of just tracking down the person who left the note that starts everything off. What? Did he get his degree out of a box of Crackerjacks? Besides that, several of the ghost sequences are scary, but the climax is a bit anticlimactic. Paranormal accuracy is out the window for sake of story, but the movie is a "worth-see" if you want good to uneven scares.
This isn't a awful scary movie but it's still pretty darn bad. The
whole movie just didn't flow very well and just comes off random a lot
of times with it's events. The pop up scares are just bunch of cheap
shots in this and the only scary thing is the design of the ghost. The
ghost actually look pretty scary but that is far as that goes. It seems
they didn't know what direction to go with this and it just seemed all
over the place. The horror elements isn't anything new and sometimes
comes off funny than actually scary and they didn't intentionally try
to go in a humorous direction. The whole premise is just plain stupid
and silly than actually scare you can't help but roll your eyes. It
seemed like they were just making it up as they went and didn't think
things through in creating one story that would work. The whole movie
just comes off as one big mess than a legit horror flick. There is just
a lot to this movie that just doesn't make any sense. Not many but
there were few scenes that was entertaining somewhat since it's over
the top silly. Especially near the end with the ghost battle. Overall
this is more of a ridiculous and humorous flick than scary, it isn't a
super awful horror movie but it's pretty close. I give it a 3.9 because
the silly parts were at least somewhat entertaining.
Well I was expecting worse, but that doesn't stop this entry (out of the 'Eight Films to Die For' collection) from just being an accommodatingly so-so effort in the paranormal field. Going against it was that the story was so telegraphed and formulaic, which led to many dull passages and hot air build ups. The idea is fine (which has some drunken young adults who were college buds disturbing the peace of the dead when reading out some card they find at their deceased friend's grave, while dancing on their graves. Now they're haunted by those spirits, and race against time with the help of a parapsychologist to end the curse before they take their lives), but the situation's progression is thinly stale and the execution is all flash, but colorlessly achieved. It's subtle build up kind of works when they encounter their unusual ghostly shenanigans, though it grows a bit tired however the last half hour doesn't work with its hysterical charge and overblown special effects. I thought the FX was well used during stages when it was focusing on the spirits, where the images of their sunken faces and flowing movements were effectively creepy. The performances by Dominic Purcell, Clare Kramer, Marcus Thomas, Josie Maran, Tchéky Karyo and Megahn Perry stand-up, if a little black and white. Director Mike Mendez overdone style etches its way in and takes away from the suspense, where he demonstrates a drearily cold atmosphere and lasting visuals caught by expansive photography. A ho-hum low-budget supernatural thriller.
I thought it could be silly judging by the title 'The Gravedancers' but some of the reviews i read here on IMDb made me think it's actually scary and worth watching, so i watched it... And i was fairly disappointed, it was indeed silly and dumb as i predicted at first, it's "only" (and that is best you can expect from a low-budget horror like this one) eerie at several moments and unfortunately that's it. I didn't even mind the silly plot and all, but the actual events, scenes that make most of this movie are dumb, silly and badly acted. I just couldn't bear with those facts. I didn't quite enjoy this movie in any way, as a scary horror flick, as a comedy-horror flick (which it is most of the time and i still think it should be considered as one) or as anything else. Let's just put it this way, this movie is a piece of cake filled with several different flavors, there are 3 small spots of chocolate fillings (funny, eerie and entertaining) and everything else is just one big piece of flavor you don't like and you simply won't eat it, you will eat those 3 small spots very quickly, forget them, you won't get more of those, for the rest of the dessert-time (movie-time) you are stuck with the bigger piece you don't like (bigger part of the movie). Dominic Purcell stars in this movie, to be honest i only saw him in the well-known TV show 'Prison Break' (that got to an end this year as it was its last season), he is silly, totally inappropriate choice for any role of this kind in my opinion. Just imagine him making like a dozen more of horror flicks, he could become for bad horror flicks what Dolph Lundgren was (and still is) for bad low-budget action flicks, a regular actor each unknown director calls for his low-budget film that unfortunately fails to deliver anything except one big lame boredom.
The scare factor is pretty good in THE GRAVEDANCERS. It's a shame the
script which relies heavily on special effects for most of the scares,
isn't more intelligent. Toward the last fifteen minutes the scares are
so over-the-top that they become laughable. It doesn't help that the
principal male performance by Dominic Purcell ranges from bland to bad.
The plot has three young people who disrespected a grave site getting visits from evil spirits. Seems the site was the burial ground for a bunch of undesirables--an ax murderer, a pyromaniac and a rapist.
When they seek help from a parapsychologist and his assistant, the fun begins in earnest. A graveyard scene where a few of the bodies are uncovered is gruesome and frightening. But after that, the scenes with the evil spirits are way too grotesque for comfort and the plot becomes an extended ghoul fest full of blood thirsty creatures.
Basic idea for the story is a good one. Executing this idea doesn't quite work beyond a surface level of shock moments that become increasingly unbelievable before the story is over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**SPOILERS** After the funeral of a man three of his buddies--Harris
(Dominic Purcell), Kira (Josie Maren) and Sid (Marcus Thomas)--get
drunk and dance on some graves in a graveyard late at night. It turns
out they unwittingly resurrected some evil ghosts who go after the
people who disturbed them.
This was barely released back in 2006 but it actually isn't half bad. The bad points are: the movie has those stupid jump scares; some of the acting is pretty bad; it has a totally pointless beginning (which the director rightly protested) and a frustrating ending. The good: there are likable characters; there's some good acting; the story sounds far-fetched but they put it across and it has some VERY scary moments. The ghosts aren't actually even seen till the end and believe me--they are frightening! There are three horrific standouts here: the first view of the ghost in Harris' bed, a sequence in a graveyard halfway through and the all out assault at the end. The special effects are excellent and it truly scared me--there aren't many films I can say that about! Some bad acting by Purcell (who can be good) lessens the full effect but everybody else is pretty good (especially Clare Kramer as Harris' wife). So a good strong ghost movie. Turn off all the lights and pop this into the DVD player! I give it a 7.
This movie's no Psycho or The Exorcist. It is slightly cheesy at
times.You can consider watching this when you feel like a flick that
doesn't tax too much on your wallet or give your mind a lot of work.
The guys who made the movie have done a good job with the creepy
atmospheric detail and the sombre music. The acting is good, Josie
Maran is decent eye candy. The other actors have also done a fairly
good job . The visual effect work is not the greatest but Its still the
best of its batch. Anyway, the movie does have it scary moments. And as
many other guys out there have said, its awesome for a low budget
production. BTW This is my first review......
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