Bottom line... don't even bother with this one. I gave it a "pity" 3/10 for signing Bill Mosley and Tony Todd.
The Graves (2009)
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Bottom line... don't even bother with this one. I gave it a "pity" 3/10 for signing Bill Mosley and Tony Todd.
The Graves, a miserable little turd fest of a film, is about two girls, Meghan and Abby, going on a last trip together before Meghan leaves for New York. They go to comic book stores (which, I'm sorry, these girls look like they've never set foot in a comic shop in their lives) and talk about how Lady Death is the most awesome comic book ever .really? (And don't worry, this is only one of the many faults of this movie.) They then stop in a diner (which is so far out of the way that the first girl to die in the original Nightmare on Elm Street is stuck waiting there), and they're lead to Skull Mine, which is said to be a ghost town after some brutal murders took place there. And then, guess what? Everything goes to hell what a shock .
My first point is Brian Pulido. I should just stop there, but I'll guess I'll keep going. If you don't know who he is, he is one of the WORST comic book writers from the 1990s and the 2000s. He's responsible for writing such terrible comic books such as Lady Death (which I referred to before) and Evil Ernie. So when I heard he wrote, directed, and produced this piece of utter crap, I already knew it was going to be terrible. He doesn't have a clue what he's doing and he should stop thinking he can do anything creative.
And some of the acting in here is atrocious. You have your two female protagonists who can't act their way out of a wet paper bag. I mean, they have scenes where they are just SO melodramatic in scenes where they're in total danger! Also, you have Tony Todd ..really? Tony, why did you chose this? Did your wife need a new car? Did your daughter need more money to get into the collage she wanted? I mean, you were the candy man! Your cartoon-styled acting in this is so bad, that I almost broke down and cried.
Now, if there is anything redeemable about this film, it's that Bill Mosely (yep, Devils Rejects Bill Mosely) plays a guy called the "Pig Man", who is just a guy who puts on a fake pig nose and likes to kill people. I have to say that whenever he was on screen, a shimmer of light helped me get through this film.
But, all in all, there is almost (almost!) nothing to like about this film. It's not scary, it's not funny, it's not dramatic, It's not anything! And if it weren't for Bill Mosely, I would give this film a flat out zero.
You see something evil lives within the area of the local town of Unity at the old mine and it feeds on souls with the deranged priest and his flock obeying it's command to bring it tourists as sustenance. This demon or whatever carries within a stench that causes those who breathe it to assault each other like foul beasts. The demon has one desire and that's to feast on the souls of those at the point of death.
Tony Todd is the crazed priest who believes the demon is Jesus and his followers are mindless sheep answering to his will to lead souls to be eaten. Bill Moseley is, you guessed it, a lunatic after the girls and having fun during the hunt, wearing a pig snout and grinning from ear to ear, taking his time as Megan attempts to keep Abby safe from harm(Abby falls into a hole knocking herself unconscious).
Most of "The Graves" consists of Abby and Megan trying to evade one psycho after another. I have a feeling Moseley will never have any problems finding work as long as there's a demand for madmen. The additional plot of flies, stench, nutty townsfolk, and an evil that eats as souls cry out in terror upon the moment of death, was a bit too much for me personally to take seriously, but maybe others will feel differently. Even Todd, who can normally create menace with the most lackluster of parts, is hard to watch as a priest constantly howling to the heavens for his savior.
The movie's title is actually the last name of the heroines, who are in peril at several points throughout the movie, tied up or in dire straits, but the screenplay finds amusing ways to rescue them when there seems to be no hope. The leads are cute and they match each other which I found adorable, their tight jeans and black muscle shirts..good casting as they resemble each other(I certainly would consider them sisters if I saw them out and about).
For some reason, "The Graves" simply lacked real, palpable menace, and I never really felt that the girls would bite the bullet, mainly because the film kept finding ways to release them from certain doom. Maybe it was the sunny Arizona setting that was unable to evoke a sense of dread. Or, the performances were uninspired and the cast was going through the motions..when Moseley's routine even fails to deliver, the jury's out and the verdict may be quite unkind.
Many might recognize Claire Grant, who portrays Megan, as the gorgeous creature from Mick Garris' second Masters of Horror entry "Valerie in the Stairs" also starring Tony Todd. Jillian Murray is Abby, with Amanda Wyss(80's regular in movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Better Off Dead)as a diner waitress who suffers a grisly fate. A great deal of the violence happens off screen or just out of frame, with most of the carnage established in our mind as blood squirts and splatters to recognize victims' gruesome demises.
I watched this during the "Grimm Up North" horror film festival in the Printworks in Manchester, UK. I could find nothing about it to recommend it. The acting was poor and the plot obvious, lacking any twists. The film completely failed to generate any sort of suspense, shock, or in fact, horror! All in all, extremely disappointing.
I actually enjoyed the short, shown prior to the film, much more than the feature!
While The Graves isn't horrible, it's certainly middle of the road in pretty much every way. On the upside it's got Bill Moseley (who can do anything from big budget flicks to the lowest of low budget crap) and the phenomenally hot Clare Grant. On the downside, well, just about everything else. This is one of those movies that's not exactly unoriginal but still fails to be the least bit engaging for roughly 95% of the time. The film just doesn't really seem to know what it wants to be. It starts off veering towards a backwoods stalk-and-slash type of movie and then ends up in kooky religious cult territory. Either way, I wasn't exactly involved in the story. I guess if you're up for a movie with a bit of cheese (or happen to be somewhat drunk) this might appeal to you. Otherwise it just feels sort of bland.
I would say that Brian Pulido should go back to comics but he's not good at that either.
It's a waste when someone is given the talent to be great at something yet no drive to follow through. It's also a waste when someone is given the drive for accomplishment but only floods the market with garbage.
THE GOOD: Well for starters, it is nice to see a horror movies that is filmed in daylight. Not all horror movies have to be taking place at night. The idea of a demonic entity stalking the lands was alright. And of course two horror icons (Tony Todd and Bill Mosely) were in the movie, although neither had much to work with. I thought it was good that you never really saw a physical manifestation of the entity, I mean who is to say what a demon looks like or not. Better to be kept in the dark, and that part worked well for the movie.
THE MEDIOCRE: The special effects were not overly impressive, but not downright crappy either.
THE BAD: The supporting cast and extras seemed like they didn't really want to make this movie. Their acting was horrendous. And how does one die from having an iron pipe jabbed through the thigh and die within less than 2 minutes from that?
The overall impression of this movie is below average. It is really a shame that Bill Mosely and Tony Todd are not allowed to fully show off their skills here, which is a shame, because Mosely is carved out for roles like this. From the cover, the movie looks interesting, but I was not overly impressed with it. Despite being labeled as a horror, there are no thrills or scares in the movie. Sure you will be kept in some suspense, but the movie is not a roller-coaster of thrills and screams!
I will not be disturbing these graves again in the future.
Two girls stop in a deserted town and pay to take a tour of the historic remains. Crazy religious locals torture and kill anyone who stops there, so the girls are pursued. A few other innocent victims die, but the girls kill their captors and escape at the end. There was something about demon possession and the taking of souls, too, but I lost interest by then. I still liked the two actresses in the lead roles, but I would rather see them in something halfway memorable. I will think of this movie any time I consider how most horror movies have nothing scary or tense about them. Total suckfest.
If this film actually somehow did turn a profit, I think it was somewhere in the range of 4 McDoubles-20 Chicken McNuggets. If it made more of a profit than that, I'm going to be shooting films all weekend. I think a movie of me making wookie noises at a cut out poster of Liam Neeson will sell better than this piece of trash. I'll call it Nell.
Seriously, if you can get around the obnoxious self promotion and style fax paux, you still won't find much of anything redeeming. The characters seem lumbersome and unmotivated, probably because they are, and the edit does little to take the edge off some seriously dry performances. Normally 'big character' actors like Todd and Mosely seem to waiting for direction through most of their scenes.
Two sisters, one very dominant over the other, end up driving around Arizona, stop at a diner, and decide to go visit the local ghost town and mines. As soon as they get there some guy kills a tourist. The girls run and are found since their chaser is always nearby no matter how fast they run and how slow he walks, but then they kill the killer. Only to meet his brother who's just as crazy. They have to run and hide from him. One oddity is that all the killed people are attacked by a swarm of flies.
Later we find out that the town is under the yoke of some crazy pastor who sacrifices all these tourists to "the savior" which is the swarm of flies, for the sake of the town's prosperity. Ultimately, the girls will have to confront the town people, but a strange thing happens in the relationship between the town and the savior.
The Graves has an impressive cast- our two very attractive leads, and horror icons Todd and Moseley. The movie looks great, is mostly filmed during the day, the colors are gorgeous. Eventually of course as things unfold, they happen at night. Locations are also excellent. And the movie is also pretty gory at times and those scenes are also very well made.
The story, though, is remarkably unfinished. So many things don't make sense and force the actors to do nonsensical things. But the story had potential, had a more experienced writer gotten a chance to revise it. The direction, too, isn't up to par, and you see takes that are very odd and that you don't usually see in films.
With the resources and enthusiasm they had available, the producers should have hired an additional writer and an established director and this movie could have been pretty good. As it is, it's your slightly-below average 'run and hide from a crazy redneck killer' movie, of which there are just a few too many. American horror really needs to start thinking of new ideas.
I had moderately high hopes for this one after the first ten minutes. Although I was a bit annoyed by the use of the hand-held video camera (this never works in movies, why add it to one if you do not need to) and the blood effects are so obviously the work of a computer... the sisters were likable enough and we are almost immediate thrown into a killer-chasing-victims mode.
I also had a few hopes because of the inclusion of Bill Moseley and Tony Todd. This is not Todd's finest work, but it is always nice to see him on screen. Moseley, on the other hand, has done a large amount of low-grade horror and his performances vary greatly depending on the project. Here, he throws himself right into it and I have to say it might be his best work since "Devil's Rejects".
The problem with the film is that while it is wonderful how fast it jumps into the action, it cannot keep up with the pace it set early on. It shifts gears and slows down part way through, and once we start focusing on the cult rather than the murderous brothers, it just loses a lot of the fun and becomes a weak story with little behind it. I feel there was more going on, and this could have been examined, but it just was not done.
The plot "borrows" from many older movies where young adults breakdown, visit, and otherwise go where angels fear to tread. This is as old as the traveling salesman jokes. Tony Todd makes a few appearances in this movie, but he is not portraying anything scary as he has in his other movies. His character is more like a clown than a monster. I can only imagine his need for money and hope that no one actually watched this movie was his reason for taking the role.
You can't feel anything for the characters since they never really develop during the movie. There is no sense of suspense, no horror, no chills, or thrills. In fact, one scene between actress Clare Grant and Bill Moseley in a school house has no impact on the movie as it really should. I wasn't quaking in fear that anyone was in danger. It felt more like a practical joke, as if Jillian Murray should have walked in and said, "Are you scared? Well you shouldn't be, because you're on Scare Tactics!".
Two sisters take a road-trip to Arizona to see the world's biggest thermometer (?) because one of the sisters is moving to NY. They end up in some hick village and are stalked by the locals. Then what started as a sub-par 'deranged rednecks' film abruptly turned into a sub-par supernatural-horror film. I really have nothing else to say about the content of this mess...
Everything sucks about THE GRAVES. The storyline is stupid, the acting (while not the worst I've ever seen...) is pretty bad, and the FX (both the gore and 'supernatural' scenes) are atrocious. Bill Moseley does an OK job with the crap he's given, and Tony Todd is unmemorable in his role. Honestly, I can't think of anything I've ever seen Todd in since the original Candyman where his role stood out. A complete lack of nudity from the attractive female leads rounds out my overall disappointment with this dull, un-scary, poorly made garbage. The only thing I slightly enjoyed was the 10-seconds or so in the beginning that featured an over-dubbed 'live' performance from the band CALABRESE. I like them a lot so I'll give the film a pretty generous 2 points for their involvement, and for the passable performance by Moseley. If it weren't for the heavy narcotics that rendered me unable to take the disc out, I would've turned this off after the first 15 minutes...2/10
The Graves sisters-Abby (Jillian Murphy) and Megan (Clare Grant)-are two comic book, punk rock (well, as the director sees punk) and horror loving girls aka. two girls you will never meet in the real world. Well, Megan is headed to ASU with a marketing degree, so as a last hurrah, they decide to go looking for a fun roadside attraction. They instead end up going to Skull City Mine, a Ghost Town. Of course, it's not really abandoned, and soon the sisters find themselves fighting for their lives against a psychopath named Caleb (Bill Moseley) and a religious cult lead by Reverend Abraham (Tony Todd.) Can they survive? What's with the supernatural evil living in the town? Why should we care? How on Earth would stabbing a man's thigh kill him?
"The Graves" is nothing more than a failure. Writer and Director Brian Pulido is a horror comic book veteran (he is the creator of "Lady Death"* and "Evil Ernie"), but for a guy with such a pedigree, his movie comes off as rather clueless as to what makes horror movies like this work. The whole thing feels too much like Pulido was thinking to himself "well, horror fans like this in horror movies", but that he had no idea as to what makes such movies work. In fact, the whole thing feels artificial, as if it comes from somebody who has no understanding of the genre, but wants a quick buck. That's last part obviously isn't what Pulido intended, but that is how it feels.
It also doesn't help that our protagonists are completely bland and obnoxious. The film wants you to like the Graves sisters, but they are so dull, unrealistic and annoying that you keep hoping for the whole movie to come to a merciful end. Even worse amazingly, are the performances from Moseley and Todd. Here, Bill just plays another variation on the psychopathic killer he's played in far superior films, only really bad. It makes you wish he would have played someone else. Todd meanwhile, is so over the top and overacts so much that it becomes laughable. The fact that these two beloved genre veterans are even in dreck like this is depressing as hell, especially with the underwhelming performances they give.
I wish I could say "The Graves" is worth watching, but it's not. Instead, it's a cheap, superficial imitator that clearly wants to be loved, but lacks any of the elements that makes horror like this fun. Instead it's a headache to watch, more appropriate for Hot Topic shopping kids than genre fans. Avoid.
*At one point, the Graves sisters start going on about their love of Chaos Comics, one in which pretty much plugging "Lady Death" in a groan inducing bit of shameless self promotion. What the hell Brian?
It's the type of waste of time that you fear when you pick a film to watch. I'm amazed people this unfit to make a film are able to get funding, put this out and make a dime on it at all. Hollywood needs a serious reboot all around and this is why.
The director has no sense of making movie... Not talking about he needs sense to make a movie, but he also needs to learn some common sense in life. It just like a movie from a 10 years old boy.
I couldn't bear all the non-senses, and had to turn off my TV. This crab maybe only exciting to the director himself.
But no, it's not just simply the lack of creativity or originally that kills this movie, it foremost is it's extremely weak approach to the genre. It's incredibly disturbing how terribly ineffective this movie is made. The movie absolutely does not manage to build up any tension or create ever a good feeling of danger. Things just happen in this movie, without any proper and required build up to it. As an horror there are absolutely no redeeming qualities about this movie. Even the bloody violence mostly happens off screen, or it's too dark to see really anything. Director Brian Pulido should just stop and realize that he doesn't has the right required talent and knowledge required, for this genre at least.
It's also especially ridicules how this movie is lacking in any good scary or powerful villainous murderers. Seriously, there is no way you could convince me that they were anyone that couldn't have been fought of with a piece of rock or a piece of wood or metal, that were literally all laying around everywhere. There is absolutely nothing threatening about the villains in this movie, which quite frankly also makes this a bore to watch.
And man, why throw in a supernatural theme as well, that just isn't in tone with any of the rest of the movie. It's just so totally random but on top of that, it also adds absolutely nothing to this movie. This movie was already extremely bad as a straight-forward slasher but they actually managed to make things worse by throwing in the supernatural elements. Well done! What an accomplishment...
It also doesn't help much that the two leading ladies of this movie aren't that compelling either. They are not well written but also really not played well by Clare Grant and Jillian Murray. Their fear of things just never comes across as convincing. Some of their actions are also just incredibly stupid, though the script is of course to blame for that really.
A great lesson on how NOT to make an horror movie.
This here wasn't all that bad of an effort. One of the finer points of this one is the rather splendid and frantic pacing that doesn't let up once it gets going. This one starts up from the beginning with plenty of fine action scenes featuring the masked hunter out in the wildlands of the abandoned town as the first couple is attacked out in the wilderness, the initial attack on the vacationing couple before turning to the main couple filled with running, chasing, stalking and much more good times to be had of the girls through the desert-based outskirts which features some fine brawling and bloodshed thrown in. These individual battles are quite fun and take advantage of plenty of locations and tactics that are quite fun and exhilarating as the chases get to so many different parts with many different outcomes in the town where it deals nicely with the sisterly bond coming together strongly that helps this one nicely as it seemed like it's pretty much all action all the way through. That gives the finale where they're captured and tormented by the group with the need for them to come together for each other in the desert community as the possessed members of the community spring to action to stop them and giving this a fine final half with plenty of stellar action taking place in the community. As this one goes for the fun of the demon possession angle in determining why they're hunting the group down, this adds an extra supernatural dimension to the action as there's some decent enough work getting to the burning bodies and the concept of the special area instigating the concept of their possession. As well as the fine gore and kills featured throughout here, these here really make this one hold up over its few minor problems. Probably the biggest issue is that this one should've been three different films since it feels incredibly jumbled and scatter-shot, as it has the feel of several different movies wrapped into one. Going from the sisterly bonding to the creepy resort town to the crazed slasher town is a fine stretch, but when it goes to the demonic cult, it goes for way too many different tangents which don't really need it. There's little about it that makes sense, but that's not as big a fault as the one about the reasoning for the group to follow the cult as it has nothing said about why they're following its orders. Still, these minor problems aside, this one wasn't half bad.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
That aside, I'm probably being way too generous with a 5. This was not a good movie, y'all. I'm not going to get too into the movie because other reviewers have done a number on it. I'll just give my .02
The movie starts off promising, the title sequence feels reminiscent of Grindhouse films. Then it keeps going. The sisters Abby (Jillian Murray) and Megan (Clare Grant) Graves are unbelievably hot and they love comic books! What's so wrong with that? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN 2 HOT GIRLS GUSH ABOUT COMIC BOOKS?! Anyways, they have one last get together before Megan moves to New York. So they try to go to someplace in Arizona, and end up in Unity which is a town full of strange characters. They're told about Skull City Mines and they go check it out. Hijinks ensue.
I'll give my reasoning to a 5 now.
Plot: This plot is everywhere and nowhere. It has a lot to offer, but barely gives it. Two girls have fun, then they don't, but then demons? I'd give the plot a 2/10 for the good Children of the Corn vibes.
Characters: Really good chemistry between the sisters. Becca is also a good character. The villains are believable, especially Moseley. I'd give them a 7/10 for good characters.
Acting: Surprisingly well done for a B-movie. The actors were great in their roles, except for Tony Todd. It felt like he wasn't acting to his fullest potential. 7/10 for great acting, Todd takes away from it though...never thought I'd ever say that.
Special F/X: Don't EVEN get me started on how much I hated the digital blood. I can't rate this low enough, so I'd have to give the special F/X a 1/10 because they managed to actually get blood on their actors!
Setting/Cinematography: Not as good as past entries, but it's also a well done camera work. The setting is really amazing, even for a desert it looks breathtaking. 6/10 for this.
Now, after doing the calculations, the score would come out to be a 4.6. I normally round up my numbers, which would give a 5. The movie is really nothing special, it just needed a few things for it to be good. Like; F/X, a good plot; but that was already covered. This was not my least favorite of the bunch, but it sure as hell isn't my favorite of the ADH4. In fact, to this day I have yet to watch Dread and Hidden (which are supposed to be the best).
I want to say this movie is underrated, but it should have a slightly higher score than 3.7/10. That's just too mean for this movie.