Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Grave Dancers

(2006) ***1/2

Harris, a successful lawyer, and his wife Allison appear to have a pretty good marriage. However, things take a turn for the worse following the death of one of their friends. After Harris is reunited with his college buddies, Kira and Sid, the trio decides to pay their proper respects to their deceased friend by drinking and reminiscing in the local graveyard. Harris and Kira make-out and generally misbehave. While acting like immature buffoons, Kira finds an odd greeting card containing a strange poem on one of the graves. After she reads the card out loud the three turn up their boombox and dance on some graves. Little did they know that the poem Kira read was really an incantation, which activated an ancient “grave-dancing curse”.

At first, not much happens. The three go their separate ways and save for a few odd sounds here and there and an occasional slammed door, life goes on. As the days pass, however, things become increasingly creepy. A piano begins playing itself and a crazy woman briefly appears in Harris and Allison’s bedroom before quickly vanishing. Contacting Kira and Sid, Harris learns that Kira was mysteriously beaten close to death and Sid has been dealing with small, spontaneous fires in his apartment. After Sid hires some paranormal investigators to check out his situation the gang learn that they have a pissed-off-ghosts problem.

The paranormal investigators explain to them, and us, that by dancing on three graves they’ve disturbed the spirits within and now the ghosts have one lunar cycle to seek revenge (how do people know this stuff?). The biggest problem is that the ghost attacks become more frequent/deadly the closer they get to the end of the cycle. After performing some rituals to rid themselves of the angry spirits but in the end only piss the spirits off more, they all seek refuge in the paranormal investigators’ headquarters where they must deal with a barrage of Evil Dead-like attacks. Adding insult to injury Sid accidentally reveals that Harris made out with Kira (thanks buddy), which only adds to the tension.

Any film that climaxes with a large, screaming CG skull chasing the protagonists is okay in my book!

This is another film from last year’s After Dark Horrorfest and it’s a good one. Yes the premise is silly, but the slow build to the full wrath of the angry spirits is terrific. The climax involves a lot of noise, a lot of things being thrown around, and one hell of a chase. The back-stories of the disturbed ghosts add a nice touch as we learn that the ghosts were evil motherfuckers in life. It’s refreshing to watch a ghost story where the ghosts aren’t innocent tortured souls seeking release from some hellish fate but rather they’re despicable people who we’re better off without. The additional tension of Harris and Keira’s infidelity actually works well and only adds to the crazy circumstances the protagonists must already deal with. Put it on your list for a future Horrorthon!


DCD said...

It's on there! Sounds great.

Whirlygirl said...

The second pic is super creepy. Why didn't you watch this one with me?

Octopunk said...

So's the third one! After seeing those cool pics I'm glad this turned out to be good. I'm all over it.