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‘The Gravedancers’: Earnest, but Still Pretty Tacky (Review)

Written by: Lois Kennedy 

Directed byMike Mendez

CastDominic Purcell, Clare Kramer, Josie Maran

Harris, Kira, and Sid are three college friends reuniting for a fourth friend’s funeral. After a few drinks, they decide it would be a good idea to go back to the cemetery. After a few more drinks, they decide it would be a good idea to follow the advice from a card Sid finds on a grave: “Tonight you live while they cannot, dance ye soul on their resting spot.” Dance they do, and it turns out that ghosts really don’t like that, especially not in the “undesirables” section of the graveyard that they happen to be in. Soon the friends are each being attacked by their own personal angry spirit: Sid by an eight-year-old pyromaniac, Harris and his wife Allison by a jilted axe murderer, and Kira by a sadistic rapist. With the help of paranormal investigators Vincent and Culpepper, they figure out the curse lasts a month, and they just have to stick it out and not get killed.

I’m not sure why this film qualifies as a Horrorfest movie (a series of movies released every year deemed too graphic or horrifying for normal theatrical release). It’s gory, but not unusually so. There is the disturbing plot point that Kira’s ghost rapes her, but it’s not shown and is barely acknowledged. The ghosts are rather creepy-looking; they have bulgy, pupil-less eyes and big grins. But the eeriness is kinda ruined when the evilest ghost becomes a giant head and chases the protagonists’ car like a recalcitrant Great Dane; the first time I saw the movie, I laughed hysterically. However, the special effects are decent except for that scene.

My synopsis of the film skimps a bit on descriptions of the characters, mostly because they feel like I’ve seen them in a hundred other movies—they’re not clichés per se, but definitely unspectacular. Harris is the typical hero, Kira the love interest (despite Harris being married, they’re still infatuated with each other), Allison the standard worried wife, Sid the smartass sidekick. Vincent is the wise leader, while Culpepper looks and acts exactly like Velma from the live-action version of Scooby Doo. I didn’t find any of them particularly likable. I didn’t actively dislike them, but neither did I shed any tears when not all of them get to see the end of the curse.

On the whole, it has a neat gimmick and it’s not entirely unoriginal in terms of plot. Give it a look if you want something serious but still a little cheesy.

Rating: 2.5/5



About the Author: Lois Kennedy is an avid horror fan who loves to write. You can also find her under the pseudonym Ghoulie Joe on Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube. 

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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