Documenting the Grey Man



Main Cast: Patrick Hussion, Kelly Coulter

Director: Wayne Capps

Far be it from me to begrudge anyone living out their dream. I had a dream once, to write a novel. And when I finished that first one, I was very proud of it. In retrospect it was SO bad and I’m glad it hasn’t been published. Sometimes those first efforts are just practice and not meant for public consumption.

Considering this movie was writer/director Wayne Capp’s first directorial effort, it’s probably safe to assume it’s also his first writing effort. Now, I know it’s not the FIRST thing he’s ever written, and probably not the first thing he’s ever directed, but definitely the first in any “official” capacity. But, um, maybe shelve this one, consider it practice, and just work like hell to make the next one something … good?

Documenting the Grey Man is a found footage ghost movie, which is normally just the sort of thing to make me smile. This time, however, I’m left shaking my head in shame and embarrassment for all those involved.

The story isn’t your typical one. Mitch and his buddies, Chad, Lisa, Jessica and Larry (I won‘t bother listing the cast here; most of them haven’t been in anything else since, and this movie came out in 2011), are posing as a documentary crew to the Simms family on Pawley’s Island, SC, where the legend of the Grey Man thrives. Some say he lost his love in a storm a long time ago and now, when a storm is approaching, he’ll appear to the locals on Pawley’s Island and whisper in their ear, warning them of the storm.

Mitch and his friends plan to pose as paranormal investigators to the Simms clan, new owners of the house where the Grey Man is most often seen, and record their reactions to the fake ghost hunt because their REAL documentary is on the effects of ghost hunting cases on unsuspecting victims.

The problem is, once they get there–and by “once they get there”, I mean about 40 minutes into this 64-minute movie–they realize the Grey Man just might be real after all.

Their fake psychic, Chad (played by Capp himself), starts bleeding from the eyes, then vanishes from a bathroom he’d gone into seconds earlier. Jessica is dragged under a bed. Larry is knocked out in the yard. No idea what ever happened to Lisa. Not sure it matters. And then, just as quickly as it began, the movie is over. Unfortunately, as with most found footage ghost movies, it’s just a quick nothing end with no resolution or conclusion as the footage simply ends. And that sucks, but I guess I’m getting used to it.

What I’m not getting used to, and hope I never do, is terrible acting. And this movie is chock full of the stuff!

The acting in this movie is SO bad, I’m not even sure there was a script they were working from, or if they were ad-libbing all of the dialogue, because there were an awful lot of stumbling and tripping over words here. Mitch could barely get past his description of the “fake” documentary to his crew in a local diner without a dozen “ums” sprinkled throughout, and several times the actors caught themselves mid-word and changed direction, like Jessica saying she’s going to “kil–kick Chad’s ass” when she found him.

Was there NO rehearsal here, or were they making it up as they went?

Special effects were minimal, so we didn’t get any cool “authentic” ghost images. The Simms daughter appears to float off her bed in one shot, that was about it. We didn’t even see any ghostly apparitions of the supposed Grey Man, and his name’s in the title!

And, hey, I love a nice boob shot just as much as the next guy, believe me, but the one in here was so friggin out of place, gratuitous and COMPLETELY unnecessary. And if you know me at all, you know that MY calling a boob shot unnecessary, it must have been REALLY unnecessary!

The fellow artist in me wants so badly to just give Capp some credit for taking what I’ve heard was a $32,000 budget and making a movie, but seriously, this movie was so far from even the midway point on the list of quality found footage ghost movies that it’s not even worth mentioning. So I’ll stop.

–C. Dennis Moore

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