Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
We must thank the SyFy Channel, for in the year of 2013, they have seriously curtailed the production and purchasing of their SyFy original movies.  Don't get us wrong here, for we love the much maligned SyFy Channel original, but recognize, that a lot like saccharine, too much SyFy original is bad for you, and if they make them we will watch them.  Thank you SyFy for looking out for my health.  Today we have the SyFy Channel going for that J-Horror angle with their film 'Grave Halloween'.  It's an awful title.  When the movie eventually gets dumped to bargain bin DVD, I doubt that title will survive.  What they will eventually call it, who the hell knows,
Back to the FCU
Let Chris know how Wrong He Is
Don't Be Square...
Like Totally Twisted Flix!

Cassi is a film student and for her senior thesis she is going to document Maiko going to the forest where Maiko's mother killed herself so she can film Maiko setting her mom free.  Apparently there is a forest in Japan where people go to commit suicide.  Crazy.  Also along for the ride is Sound Man Terry (Dejan Loyola) and cameraman Kyle (Graham Warlde).

Cool.  So these kids head out to the forest and immediately start seeing dead people.  Probably should turn around and go home, but Amber has a paper to do and Maiko has a soul to set free.  Fortunately, they run into my man Jin (Hiro Kanagawa) just wandering in the forest who will first advise them to leave, but then kind of guide them through the forest, constantly reminding them to Respect the Dead.  What's not Respecting the Dead is pretending to hang from a tree and then chasing people in the forest.  This is what Maiko's uber-obnoxious friends from school did.  They are going to die for sure.  More than likely everybody is going to die, but those dead-disrespecting loons are going to die for sure.

So our kids traipse the in woods, they see dead people, they are terrorized, they run, and eventually a good number of them are going to bite the dust.  Now we are a little concerned about Maiko's mom because where I come from, calling annoying kids to the woods to help free your soul, and then having these annoying kids die and stuff just isn't good looking out.  Still, Maiko wants to help mom out.  Good luck with that Maiko.

'Grave Halloween' is directed by veteran Sci-Fi original director Steven R. Monroe.  I think this is his tenth SyFy movie.  Between Steve, Paul Ziller, Sheldon Wilson, Jason Borque, Griff Furst and Todor Chapkanov, they have this Sci-Fi Channel directing thing covered.  Just throwing this out there, but if any you guys wouldn't mind inviting a brother on set… just saying.  I think I've earned it.

But back to 'Grave Halloween'… Let's just say I appreciate the effort.  I mean pale Japanese chicks with unwashed hair are pretty scary, right?  This is a proven fact, and the forest location and dark lighting did make for a grim atmosphere, for the most part.  But despite the plethora of pale Japanese chicks floating in and of the scenery, and the afore mentioned grim atmosphere, I wasn't all that scared or intimidated while watching 'Grave Halloween'.  I gotta say I wasn't too terribly entertained either because at the end of the day, despite the fertile watering ground of a forest with lots of dead people terrorizing annoying young people, 'Grave Halloween' turned out to be just a generic hunt and slash horror movie featuring annoying kids who can barely act, with bad cell phone service, getting hunted and slashed.  We've seen that before.

That being said, there is the mystery of what exactly Maiko's mom wants, and the resolution to that mystery was quite satisfying, even surprising.  That was appreciated.  Of course, the resolution to the resolution of the mystery was more annoying young people getting hunted and slashed, but we still appreciated the fact that the movie had something in it we didn't see coming.

'Grave Halloween' or 'Forest of Death' or whatever they are going to call this movie next year when it hits VOD had its moments, like who can ever argue with a pale, deteriorating Japanese chick swinging a three pronged garden hoe at people we don't mind seeing dead… but we ended up with the same run of the mill stuff we always get.  Opportunity missed.
Don't Be Square... Like Totally Twisted Flix!
but I can almost guarantee you it will having nothing to do with the movie.  Say like the awful SyFy movie 'Abonimable Snowman' which was renamed to 'Deadly Descent'.  Eh… what's in a title anyway?

It's Halloween at the International University in Japan somewhere and Maiko is waking up from a bad dream.  Maiko is being played by the phenomenally easy to look at Kaitlyn Leeb, who we knew as Kaitlyn Wong from one of those 'Wrong Turn' movies, which I think would make her more Chinese
than Japanese, but hell… she's Asian-ish so she got the gig.  Also, we assume the former Ms. Wong married some dude named Leeb since I don't see changing your name from Wong to Leeb as adding to ones marketability.  Regardless, way to go Mr. Leeb! 

Okay, let's focus on this movie.  Maiko, adopted by Americans, is always having dreams about her dead Japanese mom, and has figured that her mom is reaching out to her.  So on this day Maiko is going to throw her good friend Amber (Cassi Thomson) a solid.
Real Time Web