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|Index||127 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three old college friends -- mature Harris (Dominic Purcell), happy-go-lucky Sid (Marcus Thomas) and sultry Kira (the lovely Josie Maran) -- are reunited at the funeral of a fellow college chum. After the funeral they all sneak into a cemetery at night, get drunk, read a sinister incantation poem, and dance on several graves. The trio unwittingly resurrect the deadly spirits of a lethal axe murderess, a deranged child pyromaniac and a vicious, depraved rapist who proceed to haunt them for an entire month. If the ghosts aren't laid back to rest right away, they will grow increasingly stronger and more dangerous as the month progresses. Director Mike Mendez gradually develops a truly creepy and unnerving atmosphere with great skill and conviction prior to pulling out all the stirring stops in the rousing and hair-raising final third. The three leads all give fine and appealing performances; they receive bang-up support from Clare Kramer as Harris' sweet wife Allison, Tcheky Karyo as eccentric paranormal investigator Vincent and Megahn Perry as Vincent's cute spunky assistant Culpepper. The cadaverous skull-faced ghouls are genuinely freaky and frightening. David A. Armstrong's smooth, gloomy cinematography, the admirably serious and sincere tone, Joseph Bishara's eerie score, the well-drawn and engaging main characters, and the excellent special effects further enhance the overall sound quality of this very solid and satisfying supernatural horror shocker.
Let me first state that this had a amateur feel to it. However, keeping
in mind that it is a horror movie, it much better than 90% of the
direct to video garbage out there.
The movie uses a combo to makeup effects and CGI to create the most out of the obvious limited budget. I appreciated the makeup effects more than the CGI gone mad conclusion of the movie.
The acting was tolerable and the side story about the friends honestly didn't bring much to the table. The fact that the ghost story actually had some creepy moments as well as funny moments.
I gave the movie 6 out of 10 which is high for me for this type of production. The bottom line is while the movie has the drawbacks that I listed above, it is still a entertaining horror flick. If you like horror or supernatural thrillers then you could do much worse.
Well, this film is often regarded as one of the better entries in the
'Eight Films to Die For' sets; but I wasn't very impressed with it.
Sure, it has a handful of good points; but unfortunately the film is
not particularly original or interesting and that ultimately condemns
it. The film does feature a starring role for Dominic Purcell; who
apparently is a star of a TV program called Prison Break, which I've
never watched. So I guess that a lot of Prison Break fans have given
this film a high rating. Anyway, the plot focuses on three people that
used to be friends and have reunited for the funeral of another friend,
who died (obviously). Anyway, the three of them go out and get drunk
and then decide (as you do) to go to a graveyard, where they read an
incantation from one of the gravestones and then proceed to dance on
the graves. This might not have been such a bad idea if it wasn't for
the fact that they were in the 'psycho section'. Anyway, it turns out
that the dead don't appreciate having their graves danced on; and the
three are terrorised by vengeful spirits.
Credit where credit is due; and it's due in the case of whoever designed the ghosts. Like most people, I'm tired of the Japanese style watery black haired ghosts, and the common smoke-like spectres that have featured all too often. For this film, the ghosts look more like something out of The Evil Dead (and possibly took some influence from the final chapter of the Mario Bava masterpiece Black Sabbath) and they really do look horrific. They're mostly well used too, and while the film goes way over the top on many occasions; it does feature a few jump scares that work well. However, the simple fact is that the story and characters just aren't interesting enough and the reason behind what is happening to the central characters lacks imagination. I have to admit that I didn't really care about anything that went on with the plot of this film and things only got less interesting when the whole ghost hunter plot was introduced. It all boils down to a silly ending and overall, while I really did like the special effects, this is a disappointing horror film and I do not recommend it.
Mike Mendez's follow up to his kick butt movie The Convent is a mixed bag of tricks. some work, some don't. Gravedancers tells the creative and original story of a group of friends reunited by a funeral. On the night of the occasion they get drunk and accidentally dance on some graves releasing the evil spirits in the wrong side of the cemetery. The spirits of a rapist/murderer, a pyre maniac and another murderer. The friends are haunted by these ghosts according to the curse for a month. And as the month comes to a close the paranormal attacks become stronger and stronger as the ghosts try to take the people with them. It's an intriguing concept and much fun is to be had with it. The performances are all decent, the story is creative and the movie is a little slow at the start but is wildly inventive and macabre once it gets going. Everything in the film is done with a winking eye so you can appreciate the film without feeling to guilty about it. The makeup is cartooned and freaky while the cgi is a little fake looking but an understandable necessity with a low budget especially in a film of this caliber. My main gripes however don't come with the film, it's more with the way it was released. You know i didn't mind shelling out 9.50 for this movie but I'm mad as heck that the film's sound transfer was messed up and sounded mono, and the film quality was amateur looking. It wasn't even fine tuned or polished by After Dark. what could've been delightfully freakish come across humorously because of the films lighting. It's dreadfully bright which kind of kills the suspense of a horror flick. The film looks like a rough cut and should have been really touched up before getting a theatrical release. Because they had a good product but ruined it with no effort at all. This doesn't bode well for their film company or the continuing success of a festival of this sorts. But in conclusion I would just like to say although not on the par of a worthy theatrical release this is definitely worth a look on DVD.
It was unbelievable how much I enjoyed this movie! As the plot summary
already reveals, it's basically about ghosts, but those ghosts are
about the scariest looking things I've ever seen! Too bad they aren't
shown for longer. That's my one major gripe about this film: the ghosts
needed more scream... oops, sorry... screen time! Another small gripe
is that the filmmakers kind of dropped the ball there at the end with
some sloppy special effects, but the entertainment factor for
Gravedancers is off the charts, which totally made up for that! Don't
miss it! I saw this one at Horrorfest and am already drooling over the
possibilities of being able to purchase a complete 2006 Horrorfest DVD
box set. I don't know how they're planning to market the DVDs, but
anything less than a box set would not do all the awesome entries to
this great event justice, plus I'm sure a lot of us didn't get the
chance to see all of them at our local theaters.
And please keep supporting R-RATED HORROR MOVIES with your patronage! It actually looks like the movie producers and directors out there are listening to us. The year 2006 was a great year for ADULT horror, and I'm sure that this year it'll just keep getting better!
I didn't know what to expect from the so called horror fest this weekend but I liked the trailer for The Grave Dancers so I picked this one to go see at the theater. I liked the way the movies characters both live and ghostly inter acted together and how the story moved and flowed through different characters' personal issue. The film had really good make up and the camera work and shooting was a real eye opener. It was well done. The story at times was predictable at times but the last few scenes really kicks it into high geared as the ghosts let it be known that they are not happy and become completely visible. At times it was a actually funny but I like to be positive and not just trash films because you have to have a level of respect for anyone who creates a film and gets it into a theater of any kind. I did like the fact that the writers didn't feel they needed to be a complete gore slasher type film, so often now blood and guts is king and I don't always need to see all that if it isn't needed to pull off the story. I recommend this film to anyone looking for a good horror type film that doesn't have to have blood coming from all angles to make you feel a little spooked.
I just watched GRAVEDANCERS, and what a film. If like me you are a horror fan (Especially of the 70's and 80's flicks), then you are gonna love this. To me it had everything -great scares and jumps all the way to superb effects from the director who gave us 'KILLERS' and THE COVENANT'!!! - That's what I thought, but this is a whole world away from those naff efforts. We start off with three friends attending the funeral of a buddy who has died in a car accident. Later that night they go to his grave to reminisce, drink booze and listen to music, when one of the friends reads a poem found on a card laying on the tombstone. Little do they realize what they about to read is going to upset some truly evil ghosts, who are going to stop at nothing until they all die a grisly death. This reminded me of a cross between 'THE FRIGHTENERS' and 'THE EVIL DEAD' -A strong cast and an excellent supporting cast give the film a strong backbone. but for me the direction and brilliant storyline did it for me. Take the film for what it is - a throwback to horror films of years gone by (Mendez obviously has a love for the old stuff). Trust me, you will see a lot worse than this - I actually don't think I will see a better horror film this year. A very impressive 9 out of 10.
Okay, I've just watched this and I thought it was amazing. I loved it.
Yeah some of the CG is cheesy, and some of the acting is ham, but
nearly every movie you watch these days is.
This film has an excellent script, with characters that, well I did, you like. The plot of the tale is well executed and the suspense that the director has put into the movie is top notch. This is how horror film should be produced. This is a creepy, atmospheric horror which doesn't feature teens running around screaming. I advise any true horror fan to go out and give it ago, especially any old school horror fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Gravedancers starts as three close friends Harris McKay (Dominic
Purcell), Kira Hayden (Josie Maran) & Sid Vance (Marcus Thomas) mourn
the death of friend Devin Lansing who was buried earlier that day. For
some reason Sid suggests that they all go to the cemetery, break in
with lots of booze, sit around their Lansing's grave & get drunk which
Harris & Kira surprisingly agree to. While at the cemetery Sid notices
a note & starts to read it as Harris & Kira randomly dance around on
graves while drunk. Two weeks later & the three friends are
experiencing supernatural phenomenon, they see ghost's who try to
attack them & notice things moving on their own & general spooky stuff.
Sid contacts paranormal investigator Vincent Cochet (Tchéky Karyo) who
quickly realises that they are dealing with a bad case of burial
desecration, with the vengeful spirits of an arsonist, a axe murderer &
a rapist trying to kill them Harris, Sid & Kirra must lay the ghost's
to rest before it's too late...
Directed by Mike Mendez this was one of the so-called Films to Die For at the 2006 After Dark Horrorfest or whatever it's called along with the likes of Wicked Little Things (2006), Unrest (2006) & Penny Dreadful (2006) & isn't the worst of the bunch but The Gravedancers isn't the best either, as a straight supernatural horror film it's watchable enough but it's by means any sort of masterpiece. The script is a mixed bag really, the tone is very serious & I just couldn't get over how three grieving friends would break into a cemetery in the middle of the night & get drunk while dinging & dancing, you know I just didn't buy it & these are supposed to be adults with one a respected lawyer. The first hour or so of The Gravedancers is quite slow, doors open by themselves, the pet Cat goes mental & strange noises are heard but it's all pretty standard dull haunted house horror stuff. Then the final thirty odd minutes is a roller-coaster of effects & set-pieces as we get rotting zombie ghost's, possession, an obvious plot twist, giant screaming ghost heads, & fires popping up all over the place as it feels like the makers wanted to cram as much in as they could during the last thirty minutes to compensate for the none event of the first sixty. To be fair to it The Gravedancers is alright, sure there are elements of Poltergeist (1983) & any Japanese-Asian ghost horror you can name but it's watchable & it competent if not amazing.
Ther's not much gore here, there's a cool slit throat & some blood splatter but nothing else really, the body count is low & all the death's happen during the final twenty minutes except one during a seemingly unconnected opening sequence that was included against the director's wishes apparently. The special effects are pretty good actually, the giant screaming ghost face that chases Harris & Alison through the house is actually quite impressive. While the first hour or so goes for suspense & cheap scares the final thirty minutes goes all out for spectacle, as I said it's just rather uneven & why didn't they dance on graves belonging to nice people?
Probably shot on a low budget this was apparently meant as the start of a trilogy & the script was around as early as 1999 but didn't get made until 2005. Filmed in Greensboro in North Carolina. Apparently the actor's didn't meet each other until two days before filming, while it's not great I have seen worse acting I suppose.
The Gravedancers is an alright supernatural haunted house horror that has obvious influences, the whole story is silly yet it takes itself very seriously which gives it an odd vibe. Worth watching as a cheap rental or if you can catch it on telly for free but otherwise you can easily skip this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was by far by favorite Horrorfest movie. You can see a synopsis of the movie above, so I'm not going to bother going into detail with that. What I will say is that this was some great supernatural indie horror. There is a kill within the first 5 minutes of the movie, which to me is a bonus... and then the story begins. It's an introduction of characters basically, but it didn't bore me and they didn't spend too much time on that before creepiness ensues. Dominic Purcell from Prison Break was the lead and I thought he was great! I see a lot of people that weren't happy with the way the ghosts looked and the big head at the end... but I thought the ghosts looked awesome... and the head thing just added to the action. What would have probably been better at the end was if they would have run outside and POOF, it was daylight and it was all over. I did however think that they over reached a bit with the pyro scene, and the ax wielding ghost that didn't really move in a couple of scenes... but hey that's OK. For an indie horror film the effects were impossibly good.. and if you see a lot of indie horror films you know what I mean. This movie was a fun ride... and if you're looking for that and you can get over some of the CGI and effects then I would think you would have a great time!
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