Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Film Review: "The Gravedancers" (B+)

"The Gravedancers" asks the question of what happens when you disturb spirits by dancing on their graves. Well, I'll tell you - one gigantic ghost bitchslap, that's what.

I'll cop to the fact that I mainly watched this one because it had Dominic Purcell in it and I was hungry for some eye-candy. That man has hands that could crush my skull, which is oddly arousing. That, however, is beside the point. I had heard that most, if not all, of the Horrorfest films had been utter crap (*cough* "Unrest" *cough*) so I settled down to watch this one with only the hope Purcell would take off his shirt to fuel me.

One of my favorite things about the film is that it isn't centered around teenagers. I tire of hearing the stereotypical conversations about sex, drugs and whateverthefuck, so it's always nice to sit down and watch a horror movie about adults. Everything seems a bit more layered and complex and the characters are realistically written. And I actually liked them, as opposed to sitting down and wondering when the next one was going to die.

The fight scenes in this movie are very well done. The entire scene, actually, in the house at the end of the film was fucking awesome. It had me jumping a couple of times, as well as wincing in reaction to what went on ... which I think is a sign of a pretty damn good movie. The only thing about the end that I didn't enjoy as much was the finale. The effects seemed a bit too cheesy, but that really didn't put me off at all. It's just not how I would have chosen to end the movie.

I was pleasantly surprised, I have to say. The acting was far better than what you would normally get in most indie horror movies. I wasn't expecting the best out of Purcell, but I felt he did really well throughout the film as the character around which most everything centers. Claire Kramer (previously fantastic as Glory on "Buffy") is also worth mentioning - I hope I see her do more horror movies.

In the end, what I thought to be a pretty stupid plot actually ended up working and I enjoyed myself through most of the film. I thought it derailed a little at the end, but I still think this one is definitely worth a look. Not all will enjoy it, but I think if you keep an open mind you'll end up seeing this is one of those independent horror movies that really shines.

Sidenote: I did not see this film at Horrorfest, because I refused to attend it after they pulled "Frontier(s)" from their line-up. I instead watched most of the films off DVD. Seriously, how could they possibly deprive me of a film that involves French neo-Nazi cannibals?

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