The Vicious Brothers made a name for themselves with the 2011 horror Grave Encounters, literally and figuratively.
The sequel, written by the Brothers (who are filmmakers Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz) and directed by John Poliquin, takes us back to the setting of the first film as fans of the first Grave Encounters film set out to visit the psychiatric hospital where it all happened.
More Ghostwatch than Paranormal Activity, the Grave Encounters series has a number of pleasingly unsettling elements to it, not least the surreal psychological evils which torment the two groups in their respective films. It’s well worth seeking the films out and seeing what a decent take on the found footage horror genre can do.
I had the chance to put some questions to the Brothers and while brevity was on the cards here I did manage to get some details about their films and what the future holds for the series.
HeyUGuys: How did the success of the first film impact you creatively when you were writing the second?
The Vicious Brothers: The success of the first film really started with word of mouth on the internet, kids telling other kids on twitter how scary Grave Encounters was and also the trailer exploding on YouTube, so we thought it would be cool to tie that into the narrative of the 2nd film and do something extremely young and meta with it. We wanted to retain familiar aspects and tone from the first film and also expand on the mythology of the building.
How has the horror genre changed in the time between the first and second films?
Almost every mainstream horror film at the moment seems to be a 3m or under film and literally take place inside a house for 3/4 of it. It honestly gets redundant, horror is about tone and setting and a suburban house that is haunted or an exorcist movie in a house can only be done so many times over. Outside of the mainstream, we both think there are way to many found footage style films and at a certain point the good stuff starts to get lost in the shuffle.
Towards the end of the film there are moments which hint to a far more supernatural landscape. Will you take it further in the next film?
We want to go back to beginning. Back to the origins of why the place is haunted.
Do you think the found footage genre is still evolving as new directors try out new things?
The term found footage will probably go away soon as films just blend more documentary elements with traditional film making styles. I don’t think we need to justify how the audience or producers got the tapes at this point. It’s a fun ride and helps hold the realism for younger audiences that are used to watching 3 minute YouTube videos shot on cell phones.
What excites me about the Grave Encounters films are the moments when reality suddenly shifts (the endless night in the first film and the hotel lift in the second) – this is horror of a different kind to the gory slasher horrors. Do you enjoy the psychological elements you can play with in your films?
Those are probably our two favorite moments from either films. The psychological elements are the most exciting thing for us.
What’s next for the Grave Encounters series and for you as writer/ directors?
Well, we hope that there can be a 3rd Grave Encounters as we would love to make the 3rd film and give the audience something truly frightening and close the book on the franchise.
And you can follow them on Twitter @viciousbros