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Fantasia 2006: The Gravedancers

The Gravedancers is a home for bad acting, in no way saved by poor directing, a bad screenplay, and half-hearted special effects.

The bad acting was the first thing I noticed. The second thing I noticed was the regrettable tendency towards teasing direction — in a horror flick, I tend to feel that shock jump cuts should have some kind of underlying rationale. Jump cut to the monster’s perspective, jump cut to reveal a new perspective, but don’t jump cut for cheap thrills. Alas. By the time the second or third monster-eye cam shot turned out not to be a monster’s point of view at all, I’d decided that Mike Mendez wasn’t going to be particularly honest with his scares, and a lot of his tricks for scaring me went out the window.

The setup — dance on a grave, earn the hatred of the inhabitants — wasn’t bad. But it was wasted. Three monsters is too many to distinguish if you’re not even gonna begin to differentiate them until two thirds of the way through the movie. Bah.

Oh, and some of you will remember Clare Kramer as Glory in Buffy. Don’t expect too much from her. Sorry.

Grade: C-.

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