When I first saw the macabre images and poster from the film Open Grave it sparked my curiosity instantly. After reading the synopsis I was slightly confused on what type of direction the film would take but it prompted me to give this a view. While it turned out completely different than what I expected Open Grave is a smart , daring film that combines multiple genres to achieve a divine effect. Even though the overall story and plot execution are the stand outs in this movie one can not deny how amazing this looks. Open Grave has elements of mystery and intrigue to be a fan favorite among the masses but i’m not sure if there is enough horror for the hardcore fan. While Open Grave is definitely a film you have to pay close attention to the cast does a great job of bringing everything up to form as they truly are the intricate tools to allow this film to execute flawlessly.
Open Grave stars Sharlto Copley(District 9) as a man who has woken up in a pit full of dead bodies. He is rescued by a mute asian woman and taken to a house with a few other strangers. They all are having troubles identifying who they are and the only thing they can go off of are IDs. The problem is Copley does not have an ID so immediately thoughts turn to him being the one that is behind all of this. But what is all of this is the burning question and what’s with all the dead bodies?
At this point Open Grave plays more like a mystery thriller as each member of the house is not only trying to figure out how they got there but also why they are there. Eventually flashes of their memory returns but that makes things more difficult. There is too much going on and too little information and when you have that combination it’s hard to trust anyone. Once more horror comes into the mix it allows the film to take a completely different direction. This is a very well written film. Once you find out what's going on you will see that the idea isn't new just the build up to it is better than most films of this caliber.
The all star cast includes Sharlto Copley, Joseph Morgan, Thomas Kretschmann and Erin Richards. The standout amongst the actors for sure is Kretschmann who stars as Lukas and is having more trouble than the others of trusting Copley. Even though they all decide to work together to figure this out he is the constant hesitation that prevents them from following a blind lead. The way his character progresses is very dynamic. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the actors take to the story in this way but Thomas was strong enough to carry it all on his own.
There is a build to this film that does allow for some down moments. Anytime there is an era of mystery involved with any film there has to be times where the plot development is crucial and those times may lose viewers. The good thing about Open Grave is since your are pretty much thrown in the pit from the start and your own intrigue will allow you to let these ideas form. That way you yourself can know what's going on and it gives you the feel that you are one the cast. That’s very hard to do and the only way to achieve this is with a great cast so Open Grave does not fail in that regards. The only reason I felt it was worth mentioning is because this film may not work for slasher fans.
We live in a day and age of smart, beautiful and well executed horror that really reminds me of the golden age. Open Grave sits alongside with the best of mystery horror. Horror films need not always be about crazy kill scenes and nine foot monsters. Sometimes it’s what we don’t know that’s scariest of all. Open Grave exploits that and takes it even further. I am happy my curiosity lead me to this film and I’m honored to share my views with you. One of the gems of the later released 2013 horror films Open Grave is one to see!
Open Grave is directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego and stars Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Josie Ho, Joseph Morgan, Erin Richards, Max Wrottesley. The film is currently playing in limited theaters and on demand. It has a running time of 102 minutes and is being distributed courtesy of Tribeca Films. To find out how you can see Open Grave go here: http://tribecafilm.com/tribecafilm/filmguide/open-grave