Sunday, April 3, 2016

Open Grave

Year: 2013
Genre: Mystery thriller
Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Plot: A man wakes up in a pit full of dead bodies with no memory of how he got there. Subsequently he finds a group of people with the same memory loss, and they all have to work together and set their doubts aside to figure out who killed those people and why.

The gist: Throw six strangers together who are as much in the dark about what's happening as we are and Open Grave seems Hitchcockian in nature. 

There is a pit of dead bodies that our protagonist, who can't recall his name, finds himself in. He climbs out, finds more people in the same predicament, and has to figure out what's really going on. The others are able to identify themselves because they have their ID on them, but not our John Doe, which puts him as the prime suspect. Then the group start finding really strange things, like a room full of guns, dead bodies tied to the trees outside, a few wild humans lurking around, and the significance of April 18th, which is coming real soon.

Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego and writers Chris and Eddie Borey have successfully created a film set within a gruesome, if not consistently tense atmosphere. This is one of those films where you have to stay to the end to know the whole truth, and Lopez-Gallego more often than not manages to keep us guessing.

The good: The cast perform well, especially Sharlto Copley as our John Doe and Josie Ho as a mute Asian woman who has trouble communicating with the group. Credit also goes to the set design team for creating a scary place for our characters to find themselves in.

The bad: When the truth was finally revealed, I found that the idea of their memory loss and the Asian woman being mute was much too convenient, and without it the film's plot would not have worked as well as it did. The revelation was good though, I'll give them that.

Verdict: Open Grave is a solid thriller worth checking out. (7/10)

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