January 13, 2014

Open Grave (2014)

Why Open Grave came out in Italy (and only Italy) back in August of last year, and didn't see a Theatrical release anywhere else until January of this year, we may never know.

It was also available on VOD here in the U.S. on December 24th of last year, but the whole "VOD release before Theatrical release" thing perplexes us too.

Lots of films have a very quick release in December, but that's usually for Awards Consideration.

Alas, we've given up trying to figure out how and why so many films are released in the way that they are.

Sharlto Copely is a guy who wakes up in a pit full of dead bodies, all disoriented and having no clue who he is or how he got there. After freaking out for a while, a mute Asian chick shows up and lowers a rope to him, he climbs out, and he finds his way to a mansion which is filled with a bunch of other people who have no clue who he is either... or who they are, for that matter.

Of course, Sharlto being the new guy and all, no one trusts him. We find this to be totally unfair, because he was completely trust-able in District 9, and in fact, it was he who save the lives of Christopher Johnson and his little alien son!

We trust you, Sharlto.
From this point forward, everyone begins a desperate search to find clues as to who they are, where they are, and why they're there. As things progress however, it becomes alarmingly clear that that not only are they not alone, but that they are all in imminent danger... To say much else about the plot would surely spoil things, so we're shutting up about the specifics now.

We do not, however, trust this bitch.
There are some mild, very general spoilers that follow, but if you've already seen the movie's trailer, then they're nothing that you don't already know. Mostly. Either way, read on with slight caution.

Not to be confused with the shitty 2009 movie, Open Graves (starring the ever-lovely Eliza Dushku), Open Grave is a solid little Mystery/Thriller that puts an interesting new spin on the whole Virus/Infected sub-genre. It feels very much in the vein of a movie like 28 Days Later, though given its subject matter, 28 Days Before would be a far more apt title.

The movie starts off right in the thick of the action, and really doesn't let up for its entire running time. It did a pretty good job of hooking our attention from the start, and though there were a few slower bits in the middle of the film, we found the payoff to be pretty clever and ultimately satisfying. It's one of those flicks where when everything is finally revealed to you, you sit back and say "Oh, alright. That's pretty cool."

It's also fairly creepy.
Open Grave is filled with all sorts of tension, and has some good practical FX at use throughout, but the movie truly functions best as a mystery. Aside from a few troubling scenes where someone yelled "Hey you, over here!" at some obviously creepy infected folk instead of running, Open Grave plays things fairly honest and realistic too.

Sharlto Copely is always fun to watch, isn't he? He was great in District 9, and we liked his turn as a crazy bounty hunter in Elysium, and he does a good job at playing clueless and bewildered here. The guy always seems to come across as likable, which is a really good thing in our book. Erin Richards and Thomas Kretschmann turn in solid supporting roles here as well, but it's mostly Copely's show. We're a bit sad to see that Josie Ho was relegated to a non-speaking role in this one, because she's actually a decent little actress, and it felt as if she were just kind of "there" throughout Open Grave. If the script demands it though, what can you do?

Doesn't he just seem like a lovable guy?
Open Grave isn't treading any new ground, nor is it close to being a perfect film, but it is entertaining, and that's completely fine by us. It's always nice to see a clever take on the Virus/Infected sub-genre, and that's exactly what this movie is. Open Grave is definitely worth a rental, if it isn't playing in Limited Release anywhere near you.

Open Grave is available in Limited Release and on VOD now.


Erin Richards is a new discovery for us (mainly because we don't watch TV Shows starring Christian Slater), but we'll be keeping an eye out for her in The Quiet Ones come April. A curious, sexy eye.


  1. I think you wouldn't trust him that much after watch Elysium :D

  2. Awesome, I think I read one bad review that made me pass it by this weekend. Glad to hear you liked it as it looked great to me.

  3. I'm excited for the movie. I'm a huge horror fan and a horror writer. I just saw your blog and I'll be checking it out regularly from now on. Check out mine at www.jwwritingblog.blogspot.com
    I have a few of my short stories posted there. If you do get the chance to read them let me know what you think.

  4. I had the pleasure of seeing this recently and really enjoyed it. I found it well acted and a fairly original story which kept my attention. Can't say more that without plot spoilers,but well worth a watch for any contemplating it

  5. That "We do not, however, trust this bitch"-chick looks almost exactly like Ozzy Osbourne used to in the mid-90's. Now I'm really scared!!!

  6. Agreed, Zocial, definitely worth a watch.

    Good call, Phil. Did not even catch that, but it does look like Ozzy LOL