Cinema Review: Open Grave | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Open Grave

Studio: Tribeca Film
Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego

Jan 03, 2014 Web Exclusive
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A man (Sharlto Copley) wakes up with amnesia in a deep pit full of bodies. He has no idea who he is, how he got there, or why he is half-buried under a pile of corpses. The horror of his circumstances is finally alleviated when someone tosses a rope down to him. His savior escorts him to a house filled with a handful of incredibly suspicious, on-edge individuals who also all suffer from a loss of identity. Over the course of the next couple days, the group members’ memories – and some sense of past affiliations –return in spurts. However, the house is soon besieged by murderous, zombie-like hordes, and the drive to remember is rapidly supplanted by the need to survive.

From the moment Copley first sits up in the mass grave, bones cracking as if unused for months, one anticipates a zombie thriller. López-Gallego unfortunately spends perhaps too much time introducing us to characters who are not entirely compelling, because none of them know anything about themselves and thus don’t offer us much to latch onto. Their accusations and squabbles slow the film after its promising start, and with no affiliation for any of them, they come across as little more than zombie bait. However, once the action ratchets up, which it does with some well-executed creepiness and tension, Open Grave provides enough entertainment to sustain itself until the end credits. The film doesn’t break any new ground, and with a few tweaks, it could have packed a far greater punch. It is safely middle-of-the-road as far as the genre goes, but fans of dark, horror-mysteries might find plenty to enjoy in Open Grave.

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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January 9th 2014

The reviewer completely missed the point. The audience is supposed to come in not knowing what happened and without preconcieved expectations about what is supposed to happen. Just like the characters in the movie it self. That is one of the most effective element in horror. Fear of the unknown. The audience is supposed to find out at the same time as the protagonist so that when the exposition comes, it is then much more powerful.