Grave Encounters has some legit scares. The creators, The Vicious Brothers (really?), did a good job of establishing a sense of claustrophobia and panic. The movie overall is kind of mediocre, though. The characters are flat and unsympathetic and really kind of dumb (hey everyone STOP SHOUTING WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO HIDE), there really isn’t a plot, and although the found footage style does fit into the minimal story I thought that the movie used the gimmick poorly.
That all being said, it was tense and had some solid jump scares, even making my usually hardened viewing companion cry out at one point. Grave Encounters would be the perfect movie for a late night half-drunk showing with friends, but is a little flimsy for sober viewing.