I know I’ve said a lot about found footage films in the last year but unfortunately there are a ton of them being made every year with no signs of them disappearing any time soon. And unfortunately, most of them are rarely any good which brings me to Greystone Park (2012) which is yet another film in a line of films about a crew of film makers entering into an abandoned hospital in which things ultimately go wrong.
I won’t bother you with the details of this film as you have already seen it before and done better (Grave Encounters is just a more recent one done infinitely better) but I am wondering why film makers, especially indie film makers, can’t seem to come up with a better location in which to set their found footage film instead of an abandoned mental hospital. So many of them fail to bring anything new to offer audiences so why not just change the venue? A haunted house or a haunted graveyard, I’d even go for an abandoned village but a mental hospital has been done to death just within the last three to five years.
I love the found footage sub genre of horror and when done correctly you get some truly interesting films like The Last Exorcism (2010), Grave Encounters (2011), The Bay (2012), Paranormal Activity (2007), Cloverfield (2008), Troll Hunter (2010) or Apollo 18 (2011), to name a few. Now they don’t all appeal to all audiences (Grave Encounters and Apollo 18 are a guilty pleasure) but each of these films strives to bring something new to the story that they are telling which hasn’t been done before.
Greystone Park and its recent brethren are carbon copies of one another that offer very little both in terms of story and character. Maybe it would’ve been more effective if it’d just thrown out the found footage and “film maker” characters and just told a good story. The last great mental hospital film was Session 9 (2001), which looked like a found footage film in style and mood without the contrivances of the found footage genre.