Similar to Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows and Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence, Grave Encounters 2 is a meta-film. As the sequel opens we learn that Grave Encounters was a minor hit with a cult-like following. Obsessed with the original film, aspiring filmmaker Brian is convinced that it was not a movie but a documentary and that all the “actors” really died onscreen. His research suggests that all of the actors from Grave Encounters disappeared after the film was completed. Through some sleuthing Brian manages to track down the director of Grave Encounters accusing him of a “cover up”. The acerbic director admits that this is true but notes that Brian would never be able to prove it. Undeterred Brian manages to figure out the location of where the original was filmed and convinces a group of fellow film students to go with him to “make a movie.”
After breaking into the long dormant hospital, the students begin to shoot their documentary while exploring the seemingly endless labyrinth. Despite measures taken to ensure that they do not get lost it soon becomes apparent that this is an ever-shifting asylum. Following several frightening hours of ghosts and the shocking death of one of the students, they stumble upon one of the actors from the original film that has been stuck in the hellish maze for 9 years. He soon produces a map he has created, which suggests that there might be a way out (think of the Marauder’s Map from the Harry Potter movies).
Although this is a direct-to-DVD sequel I really enjoyed it! I love “haunted house’ movies and the crazy, twisty asylum featured in both films is the perfect setting for having the shit scared out of you. On the downside the characters are not very likable and if anything they are stereotypical (e.g. the brain, the jock, the hot chick, etc). Also, it takes a while before the students actually get to the asylum, which means that the film is front-loaded with padding. Still, once we’re back in the asylum there’s a nice payoff. The sequel doesn’t add any scares that we didn’t see in the original, but that doesn’t matter because Grave Encounter scares are scary.