blurb

Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: Open Grave

Jan. 1, 2014by: Eric Walkuski

PLOT: A man wakes up in a giant grave filled with corpses; after escaping, he realizes that he has no memory of who or where he is. Soon he also discovers that there are several other people in the same predicament.

REVIEW: Here's a rather twisty, unusual thriller that isn't just the same old thing. OPEN GRAVE begins with a rather familiar scenario - several strangers wake up with amnesia in a strange location and must unravel the mystery of their circumstances - and throws enough curveballs and creepy ideas into the mix to elevate it to a superior level. With a brooding, unnerving atmosphere and tense direction by its director, OPEN GRAVE is a step above your standard horror fare because it engages your brain as well as your gag reflex.

Sharlto Copley stars as a man who finds himself in an unenviable position when we meet him. Waking up in a mass grave, "John" has neither the knowledge of who he is or how he wound up in this predicament. He's aided out of the pit by a silent woman (Josie Ho), who eventually leads him to a large house in the wilderness. There, he encounters a bickering assortment of individuals who, like him, do not remember the events leading up to this nightmare. It is, of course, clear that there is some connection between them, but the trick is figuring out just what that connection might be.

It gets worse for these folks. There were some nefarious deeds afoot at their location (naturally, the mass grave already gave that away) - there are bodies tied to trees throughout the forest like warning signs, and evidence of strange scientific experiment is prevalent in various sheds and kennels. There are other people too, scattered about, although their problem isn't memory loss but full-fledged mania; they resemble escapees from an institution. Is our group part of whatever it is that has been going on here, or are they just more victims slowly descending into madness?

OPEN GRAVE is one of those movies you can't describe too fully (indeed, you shouldn't even watch the trailer); part of the fun of the film is finding out just what the hell is going on as the discoveries become more grisly. The film has the confidence of a good horror/mystery novel, giving us scant clues and disorienting revelations while never playing its full hand until the time is right. And while the climax borders on being a letdown, the overall experience is aided by the fact that the journey is tantalizing and brimming with creepy moments and weird visuals. (The barbed wire fence sequence is a great one, as is the one with the axe-wielding fellows.) Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego shows he's extremely capable when it comes to drawing out tension and delivering startling payoffs, which you wouldn't have expected after the dreadful APOLLO 18.

Sharlto Copley makes for an engaging hero, playing along the more strong-silent-type lines as opposed to going insanely over-the-top as he's apt to do. The actor relays palpable agony as his confidence in his own identity and morality crumbles steadily. Imagine not knowing if you're a monster or not; how would you handle that? The rest of the cast is fine without actually being very memorable: Thomas Kretschmann as an untrustworthy alpha-male and Josie Ho as a mute woman who might have more answers than she lets on are stand-outs, but no one is really in Copley's league. The same can be said for their characters, who aren't nearly as interesting as the enigmas surrounding them. That's okay, though: Copley and Lopez-Gallego ensure OPEN GRAVE leaves a strong impression all the same.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

11:35PM on 01/02/2014

Sharlto Copley is all

you had to say. Great actor and I am looking forward to this movie. Speaking of him, The A Team may not have been an Oscar movie, but it was fun and enjoyed his take on the Murdock character.
you had to say. Great actor and I am looking forward to this movie. Speaking of him, The A Team may not have been an Oscar movie, but it was fun and enjoyed his take on the Murdock character.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:49AM on 01/02/2014
7 or 8 out of 10 sounds about right. it was a good movie. The twist wasn't really a surprise. I liked the ending but unfortunately, I doubt they will make a sequel.
7 or 8 out of 10 sounds about right. it was a good movie. The twist wasn't really a surprise. I liked the ending but unfortunately, I doubt they will make a sequel.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:29AM on 01/02/2014
Sounds very 2007.

Might rent it down the line...
Sounds very 2007.

Might rent it down the line...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:23AM on 01/02/2014

Right on!

I completely agree with the 8/10. It was a step above most thrillers. One thing is for sure: the less you know going in, the better.
I completely agree with the 8/10. It was a step above most thrillers. One thing is for sure: the less you know going in, the better.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
5:28PM on 01/01/2014

4/10

Meh, the main twist becomes obvious midway through the movie so I'm left waiting for the characters to play catch up with me and then when I'm waiting for a big pay-off to this obvious twist, like a huge action setpiece, all I get is... one "cool" image ending the movie, showing me what I've already figured out
Meh, the main twist becomes obvious midway through the movie so I'm left waiting for the characters to play catch up with me and then when I'm waiting for a big pay-off to this obvious twist, like a huge action setpiece, all I get is... one "cool" image ending the movie, showing me what I've already figured out
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
3:31PM on 01/01/2014

8/10? Absolutely Not

Not as twisted as you might think. Definitely not much different than the other movies where someone wakes in a strange place. It works your brain a little bit. The twist is nice but the questions that are left unanswered come of as plot holes. 4/10
Not as twisted as you might think. Definitely not much different than the other movies where someone wakes in a strange place. It works your brain a little bit. The twist is nice but the questions that are left unanswered come of as plot holes. 4/10
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:04PM on 01/01/2014
Sounds twisted, different, and psychological. Sounds fun.
Sounds twisted, different, and psychological. Sounds fun.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!