Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writers: Eddie Borey, Chris Borey
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Josie Ho
Plot: A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory and must determine if the murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer.
Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
IMDB Score: 6.3
Why I watched it: It’s genre and it was on iTunes for .99 cents, alright a dollar but still it was worth the risk.
Thoughts: I pretty well went into this cold, this film was really under the radar, so I went in knowing the plot and that was it.
What I liked: Open Grave is a gimmick movie and it’s also a movie hard to review cause anything about the plot is a spoiler, there’s a sub-genre of people waking up and having no memory and they don’t know who there are or what’s going on, I have to admit there’s been a couple of good movies with that premise and you can do a lot with it. What I like here for the most part is that Open Grave is trying to make you guess what kind of film it is, now about half way through you can figure it out and I actually said out loud to no one”oh it’s a …… movie” now up until then the film was moving pretty good. I won’t give it away cause really it’s the one thing the film has going for it.
The cast is fine but it’s hard when everyone is playing some with amnesia, not a lot of character work being done, everyone is confused and scared. I like Sharlto Copley, he’s a different actor, his look if different and he always plays characters that are a little off, now he’s no stranger to genre work and he’s fine here, he pretty much carries the film, I also like Thomas Kretschmann as well, he plays that gray area really well is he good is he bad and to play that when even the character doesn’t know is pretty hard but he pulls it off.
The film does have a good amount of tension and it’s shot pretty well, it’s set out in the woods, at least that’s what it looks like and the open space does make it a bit creepy and suspenseful.
What I didn’t like: The film drags, and even though the idea and gimmick works they idea is strained about half way through, they try their best but you can’t keep up the game for over a hour and half we have to deal with the plot and the plot drags mid way through and once we know what’s going on it really does rely heavily on cliches of the genre. By the end of the film is your standard film and maybe that’s why the main plot or the genre is a secret once you know it’s not a huge surprise and they don’t do anything different with the idea.
The supporting actors are fine but every role is written the same and it’s hard to care about people you know nothing about and yes of course there’s some huge plot holes and some of it doesn’t make sense, it’s one of those movies once you see the whole thing mentally you go back and pick it apart. The film is fine when we’re trying to figure out what’s going on but once we do then it falls pretty much flat. They relied to much on the gimmick to carry the film and they pushed it too far trying to keep the guessing going and the film ended up losing flow and momentum.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad film and I give credit to the idea and some of the acting like I said is good and some of the suspense and tension was well done, the film need to be tighter and a tad more original.