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Grave Encounters movie (2011) - Watch the trailer on YouTube
video © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

Article updated: 2022.11.09

The Grave Encounters is a horror film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Grave Encounters movie (2011)

Original title: Grave Encounters

Series: Grave Encounters

Product type: Film, Genre: Horror, Style: Found footage, handheld camera (shaky cam), bad editing, ghosts

Release: 2011.06.01

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2017.06), first time

Rating: Bad (1 out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Very bad (1- out of 3 points)

This is my review of the Grave Encounters movie, a found footage style horror movie from 2011. It's about a film crew investigating a haunted house. After a weak beginning, the story gets slightly better, but the Grave Encounters film was still a disappointing experience for me.

Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by KadmonGrave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

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Review (spoiler-free) - Grave Encounters movie (2011)

I watched the Grave Encounters film because a horror-fan friend of mine recommended it. I don't think I've watched the trailer before watching the film.

The movie is about a film crew investigating a haunted house. It is a found footage style horror movie.

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of found footage movies - not because I hate the concept, but it's pretty hard to make a convincing found footage movie.

Grave Encounters has a weak beginning, but it improves. The quality and tempo of this movie is constant.

The characters were empty, and we didn't get to know them. The actors were probably okay.

I can't remember the music.

I didn't particularly like it, but I can imagine that the right audience could enjoy Grave Encounters.

My experience

I don't like staged "found footage" or shaky camera movies, so that's already a bad point for me.

Due to the weak beginning, I lost interest after the first five minutes. I didn't enjoy any part of the movie.

Rating: Bad (1 out of 3 points). Grave Encounters was not a well made movie.

Enjoyment: Very bad (1- out of 3 points). I don't like these kind of movies.

Chance of watching it again: Very unlikely. The story was uninteresting, and the found footage style made it hard to enjoy even the parts that might have been good.

Rewatchability: Good. If you liked the film for the first time, you probably liked it because of the atmosphere, not the plot.

Chance of watching a sequel: Unlikely. I didn't like the movie at all.

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Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by Kadmon
Grave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

Will you enjoy this?

If you like fake ghost hunting documentaries stories, you might enjoy Grave Encounters.

If you like found footage style horror films, you might be interested in this.

If you like jump scare ghost movies, you might enjoy this.

If you'd like to get comedic moments in your movies, Grave Encounters will disappoint you, as it's mostly serious.

If you get through the first 5 or 10 minutes of the Grave Encounters film without rolling your eyes, you might enjoy the movie.

If you can get through the first half hour of the movie still interested, from then on it gets into gear, and you might even love this.

Watching for plot points

If you are only watching the Grave Encounters film because you are curious whether it has some interesting scary background story - it doesn't. It's the usual jump scare ghost story without any explanation.

Do you need to see the second film to enjoy this?

The film has a self-contained story. You might watch Grave Encounters 2 movie (2012) if you liked this, as it's a continuation of this story, but it's a very different film. Also, it doesn't add anything to the story of Grave Encounters movie (2011).

Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by KadmonGrave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

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Review with spoilers - Grave Encounters movie (2011)

I didn't really enjoy the movie.

Promise of the first scene

We see the producer talking about the tape they've got through mail about the ghost hunting film crew. We'll probably see some ghost hunting adventure.

Execution: We did see ghost hunting.

Plot summary / Synopsis

An investigation crew (lead by Sean Rogerson as Lance Preston) sets out to visit a spooky place, an abandoned hospital (Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital), where a doctor took evil experiments on the patients. The decide to lock themselves in the building, and spend a night there, while filming the events. The night is mostly uneventful, but next day the sun doesn't come up, and they can't get out of the building. Then strange things happen, ghosts of dead patients harrass them. The crewmembers get tortured by the inhabitants, and the evil doctor (Arthur Corber as Dr. Arthur Friedkin). Most of the crew dies. Their camera is found later.

A film producer (Ben Wilkinson as Jerry Hartfield) makes a film out of their video.

Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by KadmonGrave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

The setting

The Grave Encounters film is most likely set in alternate reality where supernatural entities exist.

It's not clear whether the ghosts are just messing up their perception, or if they are really changing the reality. The food spoils. Doors don't open, or open to weird places. Staircases disappear. The sun doesn't come up. People vanish.

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Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by KadmonGrave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

Analysis of the story - Grave Encounters movie (2011)

The message of the story

I have no clue. I'm not sure there's any.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence

The story starts with the usual dramatic structure - introduction, action, then an ending without a real resolution.

Things I liked


Problematic elements

One of my main problems was that this film lost me immediately. To be immersed in a movie, you have to believe it, even if you need to suspend your disbelief. It's especially true for horror movies, as you must get into a mood to be scared. However Grave Encounters sets up a background story, and it begins with the producer of the company filming a preview for this movie, telling us how they produced several television series before, and they were filming the sixth episode of the new series, when something happened to the crew.

All the while he tells this, a totally amateur camera operator looks like he is trying the camera settings, switching focus, and tries to find out whether or not his handheld camera auto-corrects to horizontal when it gets tilted (it doesn't). This shows to me the studio 1) doesn't care about the whole production, 2) the crewmembers are such amateurs they couldn't have made a single episode, not to mention multiple series of shows.

The producer tells us they have about 70 hours of footage, that is not doctored, and only edited for timing reasons. Then the actual footage begins, with questions like "is this on?", and the crew trying to come up with a good introduction to the sixth episode, and this goes on for a couple of minutes. Really? They got 70 hours of scary stuff, screaming, running, and this is what the studio thought was the most interesting thing that must be included in the footage? What kind of retards run this studio?

Well, those kinds of retards who'd hire a crew like the one the film stars. The cameraman can't handle a single shot without losing focus, zooming something out of sight or blowing someone's face through the screen, and the show host can't seem to finish a sentence without getting distracted. Although I'm not a fan of paranormal reality shows, I can't believe any tv station would order even one episode done by this crew. While you could edit the bumbling host, the digital doctoring required to create something visually tolerable from the footage would require so much time or money that it wouldn't worth it.

So by the time the story starts to unfold, I completely lost my belief in everything that would happen later.

Unanswered questions

  • Who sent the video tape to the producer?

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Possibilities of improvement

Probably a heavy cutting of the film could make it more tolerable. However if I'd cut the irritating parts out of the first half hour, I'd lose most of the parts that could build up the tension.

If the beginning would be cut and there would be some text, stating that this is the raw, unedited footage, it would make the rest of the movie more believable. 

How it could have been better?

I'm pretty sure the camera work of the Grave Encounters film was intentionally bad. Considering the previous works of the camera crew, I'm also pretty sure that they would have achieved a semi-amateur looking effect without any additional work. And that would have been all that could have made it an average film.

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I don't know, I haven't seen anything else from the Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz).

How does it compare to the other films in the series?

It's better than the sequel movie (Grave Encounters 2).

Grave Encounters, movie (2011) - Film review by Kadmon
Grave Encounters movie (2011)
image © Digital Interference Productions & Twin Engine Films

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Uses for the film - Grave Encounters movie (2011)


  • Set on contemporary fantasy Earth.
  • A film studio makes a film out of a found footage video
  • A film crew wants to spend a night in a haunted house.
  • The ghosts don't let the people out of the haunted house. They close the doors and distract the people.


  • Some of the footage can be used to show what people can see while investigating a haunted house.
  • The start of the movie could be used as footage shown to a team of investigators, who have to find a missing film crew.
  • The jump scares could be inserted into horror stories to scare the viewers

Scenario ideas - Role-playing game scenario ideas

Secret agents: Your team works on some secret operation, while staying in an abandoned house. A film crew suddenly enters the building, looking for ghosts. You have to distract the film crew while you evacuate the building, and remove every evidence.

Haunted place: Your team is hired to prove whether or not a place is haunted. A film crew asks to join the team, so they can make a documentary out of that. The film crew could provide additional resources that the team might need.

Ghosts: The place is actually haunted.

Shady guys: While there are no ghosts, there are some mobsters who use the place for hiding their loot. They won't like it when they find it out that someone messed with their stuff.

Secrets: Although there are no ghosts, they find a secret doorway, leading to a hidden place.

Scenario ideas - Wargame scenario ideas

Haunted place: Two opposing forces start to duke it out in an abandoned place, where they disturb the ghosts resting there. The number of ghosts that appear can depend on the number of people in the area - for example 1 ghost for every 10 or 20 soldiers. They appear in random places across the playing area. The ghosts can be controlled by another player, or they can move randomly to kill the interlopers. It probably fits the theme of the film better if the playing forces don't have a chance to kill the ghosts.

Haunted place 2: There's an enclosed area in the playing area, inhabited by ghosts. The playing forces have a way to defeat the ghosts - either some magical powers, or they can collect clues in the enclosed area. The power of the ghosts prevents the entering units from leaving, until the ghosts are defeated. Don't put primary objectives in the enclosed area, but there could be secondary objectives, or the area could provide a good view for snipers, so there should be an incentive to enter the place.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized (S3) modern (advanced) human female / male civilian.

Ghost medics: Human-sized (S3) modern human civilians in medical clothes, looking sick.

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Similar stories - Grave Encounters movie (2011)


Grave Encounters 2 (2012): Found footage movie, about spooky things in a house (ghosts).

Rec (2007): Found footage movie, about spooky things in a house (zombies).

Quarantine (2008): Found footage movie, about spooky things in a house (zombies). Remake of Rec (2007).

The Blair Witch Project (1999): Found footage movie, about spooky things in the woods (witches).

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Frequently asked questions - Grave Encounters movie (2011)

How scary is Grave Encounters?

I don't think Grave Encounters would be really scary. It's the usual slow haunted house story. There are some tries for jump scares, but they are not prepared enough to really work.

Is Grave Encounters real? / Is Grave Encounters real footage?

No, despite the bad camera work and editing, Grave Encounters is not real, although it is set up as a documentary.

Is Grave Encounters based on true events?

No, Grave Encounters is not based on true events. It is set up as a documentary, and the creators try to convince the audience with bad camera work and bad sound.

Is Grave Encounters a comedy?

I don't think Grave Encounters is a comedy. If it was intended to be, it went really off the rails. There are some light-hearted moments, though.

What is the movie Grave Encounters about?

The movie is about a film crew investigating a haunted house. It is a found footage style horror movie.

Is there a post credit scene in Grave Encounters?

No, there's no post credit scene in Grave Encounters.

How many Grave Encounters are there?

As of 2020 November, there are two Grave Encounters movies: Grave Encounters movie (2011) and Grave Encounters 2 movie (2012).

Will there be Grave Encounters 3?

As of 2020 November, the latest collaboration of the Vicious Brothers, the creators behind the Grave Encounters series, was in 2014. Unless somebody takes the franchise from them, I find it highly unlikely that Grave Encounters would be continued.

Where can I see Grave Encounters? What is Grave Encounters playing on? What streaming service is Grave Encounters on? Where can I watch Grave Encounters online? Is Grave Encounters available on Netflix? Is Grave Encounters on Amazon?

As of 2022.10.18, Grave Encounters is available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube.

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Resources - Grave Encounters movie (2011)


Grave Encounters (on Official website. (2013: The website is offline.)


IMDB: Grave Encounters (2011): Database article.

WikiPedia: Grave Encounters: Database article.

Box Office Mojo: Grave Encounters: Database article about the revenue.

Letterboxd: Grave Encounters: Database article.

Metacritic: Grave Encounters (2011): Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Grave Encounters: Database article.

Grave Encounters Wiki


Jeannette Catsoulis (for The New York Times): There’s Something Odd About This Hospital: Review article.

jelliclezombi (Miss Fliss)(for Gates Of Hell And Evil Dead): Grave Encounters Review: Review article.§

moviepooper: Grave Encounters: Review article. Includes plot summary.

Robert Fure (for Film School Rejects): ‘Grave Encounters’ Exposes Essential Problems With Found Footage Horror (on Review article. (2021.02.05: The article is offline.)

ScareSkeptic: Scare Skeptic - Grave Encounters Review: Review video.

Reviews in Hindi

Haunting Tube: Grave Encounters (2011) Story Explained in Hindi: Review video in Hindi.§


FoundFlix: GRAVE ENCOUNTERS (2011) Ending Explained: Analysis video of the ending of the movie.

Buying the product - Grave Encounters movie (2011)

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Have you seen the Grave Encounters film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!


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