Grave Halloween – USA, 2013 – reviews

 

Grave Halloween – aka The Suicide Forest and Deathly Halloween – is a 2013 Canadian made-for-TV supernatural horror film directed by Steven R. Monroe (The Exorcism of Molly Hartley; I Spit on Your Grave and 2; Mongolian Death Worm) from a screenplay by Ryan W. Smith and Sheldon Wilson (The Hollow; The Unspoken; Scarecrow). It is an original production by CineTel Films for Syfy.

Main cast:

Kaitlyn Leeb (The Three-Breasted Woman in Total Recall; Wrong Turn 4), Cassi Thomson, Graham Wardle, Dejan Loyola (Evangeline), Jeffrey Ballard (R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour), Hiro Kanagawa, Jesse Wheeler, Tom Stevens and Kevan Ohtsji.

Plot:

On October 31, Maiko, a Japanese-born American student at a Japanese University, travels into the Aokigahara Forest to find her birth mother, who has recently committed suicide. Her friends Kyle, Terry and Amber travel with her, in hopes to produce a documentary for a class project…

Reviews:

“The issue with this feature is simply the jarring fusion between J-Horror and a made-for-TV sanitised scare-fest. The narrative is burdened with an overly complex backstory … which – fascinating though it genuinely is – feels ungainly inserted as the film itself seems more concerned with developing the Evil Dead vibe that it so obviously craves.” Dave Wain, Scream magazine

 

“It’s all luminous, moss-covered trunks and the damp mulch underfoot just about buries some of the more glaring cliches and irritations. It’s an exercise in atmosphere and body count rather than detailed plot — nothing wrong with that — and there are just enough moody set-pieces to keep the viewer entertained.” Phil Lunt, The British Fantasy Society

” … the scenery sets quite a stage for filmmakers, but spending an hour and a half looking at the same trees over and over again wastes every bit of natural beauty on a lame repetition factor. Alternate realities are introduced … but Ryan W. Smith’s story simply boils down to running Americans and clumsy falls continuing on a wasteful loop.” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

“… kudos must be given to Monroe for keeping the pace moving once everything derails. He doesn’t allow the viewer one moment’s breath for reflection on the nonsense transpiring. Also showing his keen hand behind the camera when handling violence, the kills are well staged, most notably a drawing-and-quartering courtesy of evil foliage.” Rob Getz, Horror News

Cast and characters:

  • Kaitlyn Leeb – Maiko
  • Cassi Thomson – Amber
  • Graham Wardle – Kyle
  • Dejan Loyola – Terry
  • Jeffrey Ballard – Craig
  • Hiro Kanagawa – Jin
  • Jesse Wheeler – Brody
  • Tom Stevens – Skylar
  • Kevan Ohtsji – Policeman
  • Hyuma Frankowski – Junior Policeman
  • Maiko Miyauchi – Maiko’s Mother
  • Luna Kurokawa – Maiko’s Sister
  • Isabelle Beech – Young Maiko
  • Yukari Komatsu – Bracelet Woman

Filming Locations:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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