Monday, February 15, 2016

The Gravedancers (2006)

I really want to say that this one is my favorites out of the After Dark Horrorfest films. I really do. And if I had had the good sense to be stricken by some temporary coma during the last ten minutes of the show, I would be raving about how well done it was.

If only…

The Gravedancers centers itself around the terrible consequences of playful grave desecration, punishing those who would dare celebrate being alive by dancing over the graves of people they have never known. It’s always nice to know that your best friend is buried just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the resting places of society’s least favored.

Harris (Dominic Purcell), Kira (Josie Maran), and Sid (Marcus Thomas) were not informed about their buddy's new neighbors.

So after doing the cemetery boogie, our three mourners discover that they are each being stalked by a particularly nasty ghost who was pulled over from “the other side” and has about a month to play cat-and-mouse with them. As luck would have it, they’ve managed to piss off a ten-year-old pyromaniac, a sadistic judge, and a jilted lover with an axe.

Enter the paranormal expert (TchĂ©ky Karyo) and his all-too-serious assistant (Megahn Perry) who just can’t get enough evidence.

The story is wonderful. It grabs your attention and keeps it going, wondering what new tricks the angry ghosts are going to come up with. When they finally gain enough strength to materialize, they do look very fake…but in a very creepy rubber-mask sort of way that makes it completely forgivable.

So after failed attempts to thwart the curse and a few rather horrific casualties, we get to that point in the film where we find out exactly why the ghosts were wearing rubber masks. My guess is that the lion’s share of the effects budget was used to create this glowing snowball of ghoul-lash that chases our heroes out to the final battle.

My appreciation for the film dropped 50 points.

I’ve said this once before, but it would serve well to repeat… a low-budget film can be good, as long as it doesn’t try to give the illusion of being a high-budget film during the finale by slathering on all the CG tinsel.

 Film information: The Gravedancers

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