The Gravedancers Review
Written by: TheDudeWithTheShotgun
When I first saw the trailer for 8 Films to Die For, I thought that it looked a little bit over the top. The first thought that fully came to me was: these movies are probably not as hardcore and probably are suited for the general horror audience.
Upon seeing The Gravedancers, I was immediately met with the truth: the 8 Films to Die For are not hardcore and over the top for general horror audiences... or general audiences for that matter. This movie in no way goes insane in terms of gore. In fact, the blood was very minimal.
Then why the high rating? Simple. Even though it is not the bloodiest and most extreme horror movie I have ever seen (the award for that one goes to others) it is still an amazing movie. The story alone, the very premise, is enticing and brings one back to those old ideas of not playing around in cemeteries.
The Gravedancers (without any spoilers) tells the story of three friends, Harris (Dominic Purcell), Kira (Josie Maran), and Sid (Marcus Thomas), who reunite under the unfortunate circumstance of the death of their friend Devin. After the funeral, while at a bar getting drunk, Sid realizes that they are friends who never even talk to each other anymore. He points out that their friend just died and all they can think about is getting back to their lives. All three friends, realizing they should all give their friend Devin one last farewell together, go to the Cemetery. While their, they begin to dance and drink, not knowing that what they are doing will bring about three angered spirits: an axe murderer, a pyro, and a sadist.
From there, the movie dives head on into a horror situation which would satisfy anyone's needs. The story grows to show ideas of rituals and the way in which hauntings happen. The hauntings, are frightening and full of moments of great suspense. Also, there are perfect moments of comic relief, which help to break the tension felt during suspensful moments.
All of the actors (with the exception of the character played by Megahn Perry) performed greatly. Their faces of horror and heroism were all very good.
As for the Special FX and CGi (which were very limited) they were very good. What I loved was the fact that this movie relied more heavily on make-up and camera movements to portray horror. It did not use Special FX and CGi heavily which gave the movie a much more realistic feel to it. Also, the bodies which were made and the masks worn by the people looked absolutely realistic. The Often, I thought that because of this, The Gravedancers felt more realistic in terms of haunting than many other movies I have seen which dealt with haunted houses and places.
The Director, Mike Mendez, did an amazing job transfering the script to screen. His camera movements helped to truly bring about the feel of The Gravedancers. Cinematography wise, his use of very low lighting at points and the desaturation of the color helped to add a scarier and rough sense to the film. At times, the color was faded well enough to make it look as if though the viewer is in the situations with the friends.
As for the music and soud effects: both were well done. The music throughout the movie, captures the viewers mind and helps to greatly build up the suspense, much in the same way Carpenter used it in Halloween or Hitchcock in Psycho. The sound effects were up to perfection and at no time did it ever falter.
Overall, I enjoyed The Gravedancers and recommend it highly with both rating of 9/10 and this review. It is a well done independent horror movie done by Mike Mendez (written by Brad Keene and Chris Skinner) and it is a must see. If you are able to catch the 8 Films to Die For in a theather, I suggest you see this one to have the haunting genre brought back to life for you.