Dawning Creates

Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti

Open Grave (2013)

Open Grave

The Gist

Killers or VictimsSharlto Copley (Jonah); Thomas Kretschmann (Lukas); Josie Ho (Brown Eyes); Joseph Morgan (Nathan); Erin Richards (Sharon); Max Wrottesley (Michael)

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My Take:  I was excited to see this flick after viewing the trailer back in January and finally, finally I was able to watch it and made it a sort of family movie night with my husband and daughter (it’s ok, she’s 20).  Watching the trailer it gives the impression that this movie is going down the road of crazy killer trapping people and somehow erasing their memories before killing them and begs the question, which one is the killer (there’s a lot of kill, kill, kill in that sentence).  And the story certainly continues to leave the audience to wonder that while minor clues about the characters start to come forth through their exploration of a seemingly deserted forested area and the flashbacks the people start to have.  But there’s something more going on here and as we watch the mental deterioration of Lukas, it starts to look more involved than just a lunatic playing sick games with human lives.

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The characters don’t know themselves or each and adding to the complications of not knowing or trusting one another is that there is one of them who seems to know what is happening but she is mute and can only write in Chinese (I think?)  So the only one who can explain things can’t communicate with any of them.  As the group begins to explore the outlying areas from the house where they are holed up and the open grave where Jonah is found at the beginning, more strange shit crops up leading further down the route of one of them being a psycho.  In the woods there are dead bodies strapped to trees with barbed wire and they find a man (pictured above) half-naked and tangled in barbed wire but he is not incapable of movement as he stabs one of the amnesiacs with a branch.  Add to this the woman they find chained and living in filth in a shack and the discovery of some sort of building with a kid who runs away and later some totally messed up people doing some weird shit and your kind of going, huh?

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When the truth came out it was not what I was expecting.  A plague has ravaged the earth (presumably) and Jonah and the others are working on a cure to the disease that I guess makes people zombies or something like the people in 28 Days later  but they aren’t totally inhuman as they like chopping wood or something.  It’s unclear what exactly the virus has done to people but it’s bad and they seem to like killing non-infected. I’m not sure about the virus but it was unexpected, at least to me.  The reason they can’t remember anything is because they have injected the cure or vaccine or whatever that will prevent them from, for a time, becoming one of the infected.

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Final Thoughts:  So the twist and reveal did surprise me and the movie did quite well keeping me guessing where it was going with memories of being experimented on and the bodies popping up here and there.  I liked the perspective of the characters not knowing what the hell is happening and not trusting each other because they can’t remember anything.  The weak spots were some of the interactions between the characters particularly Jonah and Sharon.  The sequences felt awkward and wrong and there is one scene where they kiss remembering that they are a couple but not really.  The relationship just didn’t work.  Which may be part of what brought down the flick. While it is interesting to watch this group interact without knowing who they are or what their relationships are, these interactions for the most part were weak.  The story is interesting, the twist is good but the characters were lacking and I didn’t real care about their pasts or fates.  I have a soft spot for Joseph Morgan (Klaus from The Originals) but he didn’t thrill me in this flick. All in all, this had promise but fell short with characters that couldn’t hold the story through to the end.

Stylized D

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One comment on “Open Grave (2013)

  1. Pingback: Oculus (2013) | Dawning Creates

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This entry was posted on August 10, 2014 by in Movie Reviews, Reviews and tagged , , .

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