Directed by Mike Mendez
Written by Brad Keene & Chris Skinner
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Josie Maran, and Clare Kramer
After a night of drunken exploits, Allison, Harris, and Kira are chased and terrorized by the ghosts of a child pyromaniac, an ax murderer, and a rapist.
I’m not sure who let this clock in as one of the 8 Films to Die For at the After Dark Horrorfest, but they really need to raise the bar on credentials. The Gravedancers sounded like it had promise. It snowballed me for a good thirty minutes before reality reared it bitter head. The synopsis sums it up accurately. This was appealing to me why? The more I write, the more I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I blame day drinking.
Three long-time friends reunite after the death of a friend. Old feelings and small town nostalgia lead to impaired decisions. That’s nothing new, but these bad choices come with hilariously cheesy and sometimes downright creepy consequences. This film starts off like a real horror film, has a sprinkling of decent direction and atmosphere, but can’t decide whether it’s trying to deliver a B movie, or just “succeeds” in doing so. The ghosts are more Halloween rack at Wal-Mart, than terrifying haunts. I have no reason to believe bugged-out, googly eyes and frozen expressions are what actual malevolent spirits are all about. The Gravedancers wants to make it clear that their vision of visual terror looks like something abandoned in the conceptual design phase of The Evil Dead.
“We’ll swallow your LOL!”
Horror cliches stand at every turn, the German ghost hunter, ham-fisted fake out scares; every thing wrong with horror is skillfully crammed into the 90 minute run time. The only mildly entertaining part of the film is former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, Clare Kramer (Glory), as the constantly-screaming wife with a high school grudge to bear. If this is on television for free, sure, give it a shot; if not, well, remember you were warned. Don’t spend money on Vudu like dumb ol’ Fister Roboto did. Boooo! And, no, I wasn’t saying “Booo-urns!”