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Anyone watching this movie in the hope of some fascinating insights
into the world of the paranormal investigator or perhaps just for a few
scares is going to be sorely disappointed.
If the intent of the filmmakers was to convince us that the EVP recordings, photographs and video footage were real they did a very poor job. The editing jumped all over the place, at first I thought it was just going to be like that at the start of the film and then it would get down to the proper investigations, but sadly it continued right up to the last minute.
There was not one moment when I was even vaguely convinced any of the footage was of a real supernatural event, they jump cut so quick you were left feeling like they were trying to hide something, interspersing it with staged footage of little children and dramatic or heavy metal music took you further away from feeling like this was a serious documentary.
If they wanted to make a point they needed to slow down, focus on one happening at a time, show us the footage of things actually happening - not just say something happened.
Overall the whole thing pretty much bored me, there wasn't even a hint that this could actually be a real investigation and at no point did it stay still long enough for you to actually get creeped out.
I have to agree that the credibility of the investigations is sketchy based on how the information was presented. There's just way too much additional "drama" involved. If there was compelling evidence, the added recreations and images of dead people weren't needed. Perhaps they wanted the film to be two hours and needed to add in some time. The fact that John Zaffas was involved, as a credible and experienced demonologist, helps their credibility but I'm not so sure he was any more impressed with the final product than we are. Who knows. I still found many things included to be interesting and some of the evidence impressive so I'd say anyone interested in the subject of the paranormal should still give it a look-see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reading other comments, I didn't expect much but I found it to be an
interesting documentary. They gave lots of EVP and photographic
evidence to back their claims. Covered the histories of the
investigations they were undertaking and interviewed people who claimed
to have had experiences.
It was obvious that the investigators were appalled and angry at uncovering mass child graves with no way of now discovering who these children had been.
They covered the whole issue of child ghosts with compassion. I don't know what else they could have done. There are some clear photographs taken at dusk of child silhouettes in a copse of trees that are particularly eerie.
I didn't find the music to be all that intrusive, so I'm wondering if I saw the same documentary as the people who dissed it... Seriously, if you enjoy the likes of TAPS and other ghost hunter stuff, then you should enjoy this.
6 out of 10
The Booth brothers have had a long career in soft-core porn, but in
this stinker, they've branched out into "documentaries" about the
paranormal. I put "documentaries" in quotes because usually
documentarians at least make some effort to depict real events. I guess
stars Keith Age, John Zaffis and Steven LaChance (billed as an "extreme
haunting specialist" whatever that is) did actually visit the locations
depicted in the film, but that seems to be where the connection to
There is so much wrong with this film, I'm tempted just to put it in a list. I did, in fact, make a list as I was watching it, and Googled some of the claims made, just to see if it added up. Some of what they said actually was factual, but a large portion of the information presented was simply fabricated. It doesn't start well when the star, paranormal grandstander Keith Age, interviews a woman in a cemetery who seems to be some sort of expert. You'd think she'd dress a little nicer, but hey. Age asks her leading questions about the local orphanage, rather than getting actual information from her. Later, footage from old silent films is shown in such a way that the viewer is led to believe that this is actual footage from these old orphanage. The filmmakers also present the fact that many children died in this orphanage as evidence of some sort of wrongdoing, ignoring the fact that many children died even in loving homes before antibiotics were available. Also, the "unmarked mass graves" Age talks about date to 1918, a year the filmmakers and Age didn't bother to research. It was the year of the flu epidemic that killed millions.
Then there's all the footage of various video and audio tricks and effects, done like a goth-metal music video. My particular favorite is that of a Yamaha audio mixer with all the sliders mysteriously zipping down to zero. (the sliders on Yamaha digital mixers do that when you reset them). The bros Booth also need to hire a better script supervisor, because their titles and other text are rife with misspellings ("he 'through' her doll into the fireplace"), odd capitalization and misuse of its/it's ("The US Military occupied the building, where it interrogated 'it's' Nazi POWs."). Which brings me to another point. The Booths play fast and loose with the facts. At the Pythian Castle in St. Louis, a title says POWs were kept there, but Wikipedia and the castle's own web site tell a different story. The army used the castle as an officers' club, and prisoners were kept at a hospital behind the building.
Speaking playing fast and loose with facts, one Rosemary Ellen Guiley is interviewed in the film, and introduced as a Ph.D. That's a pretty straightforward piece of information, so I went to her web site. There is no mention of her earning a Ph.D. Seems like a pretty good credential to leave off your bio. To confirm, I went to Dissertation Abstracts, a database that lists pretty much every Ph.D dissertation published in US. No Rosemary Guiley. I found Carl Sagan and Newt Gingrich's dissertations, though! I could go on, but it's really tiring going over all the "evidence" they fabricated. I realize that they may have dramatized some of it for effect, but there really is a lot that's faked, and to me that's fraud. If you don't have adequate evidence, don't make a documentary. Reality is interesting enough with fakery. So, unless you like cheese ball effects, portly paranormal investigators dressed in paramilitary fashion and a lot of misinterpreted BS masquerading as "evidence" steer clear of this turd. It might be worth watching for sheer ridiculous entertainment, though; a "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of paranormal documentaries.
Children of the Grave did seem interesting, so I checked it out, and if I were to be honest I am still not entirely sure what to make of it. Sure it is reasonably entertaining, with a resolutely creepy atmosphere particularly in the Zombie Road segment, great shots of the graveyard and buildings, the whole orphanage/lost children idea was interesting and did make me emotional thinking about it and reasonably convincing child actors. On the other hand, there were a number of times where I didn't buy the "evidence"'s credibility(especially the supposed ghost evidence), coming across as vague, the editing jumps around all over the place, there are scenes that felt like overlong filler rather than evidence and the music is overbearing. All in all, not a bad way to pass the time I suppose, but I am still perplexed as to what I actually think of Children of the Grave. 5/10 Bethany Cox
Children of the Grave (2007)
*** (out of 4)
Extremely creepy documentary that takes a look at various places said to be haunted by children. Using re-enactments, experts as well as on the location shooting, this documentary takes us to various locations said to be haunted and this includes a creepy orphanage in Indianapolis where 699 children were buried together. Another location is an orphanage that was used to interrogate Nazis during WW2. Finally, one of the last stops is in St. Louis on a place called "Zombie Road" where there have been multiple murders, drownings, deaths and perhaps Satanic sacrifices. Once again a film like this should have one goal and that's to make the viewer feel creeped out. This film pretty much had my blood turning cold from start to finish because there's some pretty creepy stuff here that's also mixed in with a lot of sadness because so many of these children were either physically or sexually abused. Hearing thoughts on why children might not "pass on" was rather interesting and I found the entire documentary handled the subject matter with care. We have "modern technology" that's suppose to bring us closer to hearing voices of the dead and I personally don't buy into this equipment too much. I've seen it in various shows and personally, I don't but it but this didn't take away from the film. The stuff on Zombie Road was extremely creepy especially some of the photographs captured. There are several photos of actual ghosts that were taken including one of JonBenet Ramsey that I had never seen.
This "documentary" was very entertaining as well as informative. I loathe the scene recreations rampant in these types of movies/shows, but I suppose it's something one has to live with in order to watch these things. I seriously doubt that some of the footage was 100 percent untouched - but then again - I'm one of the biggest skeptics around. Having said that, parts of the documentary - most especially when they got to the Zombie Road section - gave me the willies and I will admit (shamefully) that I slept with my bedside lamp on that night. Now I am determined to do my own investigation of Zombie Road and I cannot wait (I say as I sit in a well lit & locked house). I'd love to see more of this from these guys!
This the highly anticipated follow-up to the Booth Brothers 2006 documentary Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium. This haunted Indie film is one of the finest that I have seen in many years. And so like its predecessor this film delivers more non-stop chills from the very first frame. Many thought the Booth's could not top Spooked The Ghosts Of Waverly Hills Sanatorium their first paranormal documentary outing, but in truth they have surely surpassed it. Many herald The Booths work as a new breed of great paranormal TV to explore. The Booth's unique camera perspective and fantastic direction, editing and score are part of the haunted magical mind's eye that they possess collectively. It is "The Must See" of all that is haunted! More then just a cut above the rest it sets a new standard that many will find hard to reach. This movie is now what I would call a Paranormal Classic Indie Film!
I had hoped that the Booth Brothers would have matured as film makers,
and ceased depending on cheap theatrics, constant "scary" and quick
cuts, since Spooked. They haven't. I'm upset that I'll never get that
time back, as it was wasted. I could have spent the time watching paint
dry, and been far more entertained.
The investigations shown are minimally sound. This could be due to the poor editing, but I think it's a combination of bad editing and poor investigative process. These are supposed to be "experts" but there is nothing cutting edge, progressive or redeeming in regards to the investigative techniques. The use of child actors was unnecessary. Most of the evp's I would never present as evidence of any kind, as they are just too ambiguous and indistinct. And what is the deal with the pseudo-commandos of PTF/MPR. No one is going to take a 350 pound wanna-be ghost commando seriously.
The Booth Brothers need to get back into the porn industry, it's apparent that they have no talent filming a documentary of any kind. Value your time. It would be better spent watching Pee Wee Herman.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I labored through this program for two hours wondering what was the point? This show was evidently a forum for two guys, the Brooke's brothers(?), upset over learning about mass graves where hundreds of unnamed orphans were buried in numbered graves. They try to weave into this message comments by paranormal "experts" and writers, snippets of paranormal investigations at abandoned orphanages, graveyards, and a road (Zombie Road), in several different states, along with a supposed news interview of some woman and a presentation at a high school. Confused? You should be. And that's not all. They have little children actors portraying abused and neglected children and or their spirits. There are numerous EVPS (electronic voice phenomena) of what is supposed to be either children or their abusers. This gibberish is interpreted for us in order to fit into the theme of orphan hauntings. Sifted throughout are antique photos and vintage video of children, supposedly orphans, and old photos of ghost children. I need not add that the latter were made in an era when the faking of ghost photos was rampant. I'm still not certain what Zombie Road near St. Louis and a photo of shadows had to do with orphans buried in Indiana. The film makers here tried to do two things at once: 1. present an expose of the poor treatment of orphans in America's past and 2. take viewers on a paranormal investigation of several reputedly haunted sites. They needed to focus on one or the other. Some parting shots: I couldn't stand the dialog mostly spoken through a tin can (or so it seemed) and couldn't they choose a narrator who didn't sound like he had a speech impediment? This one wasn't ready to come off the editing table. Could have been condensed to fifteen minutes, maybe thirty with commercial breaks.
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