So the Found Footage genre decided to play a few ghost hunting games again – is there really any more room for this type of film in the horror genre?
Same Old Story
Getting excited about a story line I’ve sat through many times before is getting increasingly difficult.
Enter Documenting The Grey Man – more ghost hunting games gone wrong!
One of my favorite Found Footage offerings is Grave Encounters but that film seems to have a lot to answer for. First of all it gave the Found Footage industry the ghost hunting yarn. Secondly it gave the Found Footage community a haunted asylum!
Neither of these two aspects are bad things if used correctly and with a little originality.
That doesn’t seem to happen to often…
Documenting The Grey Man
This Particular Found Footage effort was released on July 17, 2012 and it seemed like it was going to be quite the experience. When I first saw the front cover of the DVD depicting a young girl levitating out of bed I was more than a little excited!
It was directed by Wayne Capps – someone I had no knowledge on beforehand (and I have little knowledge on now if I’m honest!).
The film attempts to be a little different in it’s approach by including a set of ghost hunters that have a conscience for once. By this I mean this group actually want to demonstrate to the public how easy it is to be a fraud in this business.
The first half of their documentary is set up to film fake hauntings within a family household whilst the second half is reserved for showing the world how they faked it!
The household that they choose has reported instances where they have been haunted by the Grey Man. This is a local legend about a man who lost his wife in a severe storm. For decades since his death he has roamed the beaches looking for people wandering alone so he can whisper in their ear warnings of coming harsh weather.
This family think that the Grey Man used to inhabit the plantation near their new home so he must be responsible for the paranormal activity…
No Need For a Script
After watching about twenty minutes of the film I started to pick up on a few flaws that sort of astonished me. Firstly the script – there didn’t seem to be one!
I’m serious – there didn’t seem to be any sort of script in this film and each scene was just thrown together in a series of takes!
Normally this would put me right off a film but for some reason this film worked alright with this setup.
As the housewife walks our band of merry ghost hunters around the house it is plainly obvious that she has no idea what she is going to say next. It’s sort of similar to listening to a tennis commentator when the rain starts pouring – just rambling on about anything to fill the time!
This tells us that the film is pretty much a zero budget offering and that puts things into perspective. I actually enjoyed it a little more when I realized this!
Yeah this WAS NOT a CGI blockbuster but what it did offer was above average. We had the fake blood and then characters being dragged through doors and underneath beds. No effects over $10 but hey – they sort of worked!
This is not really the top of the tree when it comes to Found Footage horror but it does have some nice touches. For long periods of the film I was pretty sure that all the actors were film school rejects with a point to prove.
The acting itself was average and the character development was also pretty average but things came together enough to work (on some levels).
There were some moments in the film that made me laugh out loud but I’ve got to the point where I sort of expect that these days anyway (the team leader’s awful green polo shirt in the first scene was one of them!).
If you like Found Footage you will find something to enjoy in this film. It’s not great and it’s based on an idea that has been covered many times before but it does work.
I’d give these ghost hunting games a go and see where they take you!