Monday, February 10, 2014

Open Grave (2013)

Director – Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego
Writers – Chris Borey, Eddie Borey
Production Company – Atlas Independent, 852 Films, 
Stars – Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Erin Richards

So here’s the quandary I’m in with Open Grave, I feel like I should like it, but I just don’t.  It’s like when someone puts this valiant effort into making a new inventive cake flavor, but when you taste it you realize that something in the recipe is NOT working for you.  Does that make sense to anyone?

Open Grave follows a man who wakes up in a massive grave of dead bodies with no memory of who he is or how he’s gotten there.  He will meet up with a larger group of folks who’ve also woken up to find that they don’t know who they are, or why they’re here.  The rest of the movie follows these characters around while they try to figure out whose good and who’s bad.

I really enjoyed the overall concept, but I didn’t want the guts of the movie to be the characters trying to figure out who they are.  I wanted the guts of this movie to be these people figuring out what the hell is going on in general!  People, none of us remember who we are – yes this is weird.  For now, let’s just table that discussion and figure out if we’re in mortal danger and try to leave this place like we’re friends.  I don’t care who did what at this point, let’s just focus on surviving and finding other humans who might be able to fill in the blanks for us - deal?

Light Spoilers 

So there’s the gist of it.  All these characters spend most of the movie trying to remember who they are, and they also spend a lot of time giving everyone else the evil eye – because obviously one of these characters must be an evil bastard.  I just didn’t like all the paranoia that was happening, just seemed small beans to me.
I dislike movies that give a lot of attention to small time drama, when they’ve got this large concept looming in the background.  When I think of all the fun Open Graves could have had with the larger concept, I get sad they we mostly just watch a lot of adults bicker with each other.  I guess I didn’t need the slow burn of them figuring out who they are, it would have been much more fun for this to be solved quickly and for the characters to move on to the bigger picture. 


So there are a few other things that really drove me crazy.  I wouldn’t read any further if you still want to watch the movie. 

The Chinese writing mute lady, really????  I find it hard to believe that a grown woman, mute or not, couldn’t help guide the other characters a little bit more.  Make the mute woman a child, problem solved and no longer a flaw.

People can’t remember who they “are” but they are able to retain skills they had such as reading and speaking foreign languages etc.. I just wanted this explained more.  Why remember some things, but not others.

Jonah (Sharlto Copley), I’ve only seen him on District 9 – and he rocked in that flick.  In Open Graves he has the strangest accent. I can’t even really describe it – but it really distracted me.  Overall the acting from everyone in this flick did nothing to help, pretty flat and the dialogue was pretty goofy.

Also - Have you ever watched a movie, and during this movie a character picks up some random video camera?  Sure you probably have.  Have you ever watched a movie where that person then presses play on the video camera, and then what they watch is at the perfect spot so that they can see one of the other main characters doing something seemingly disturbing?  WHY WHY WHY!  This is too perfect! I cannot accept that this would happen in real life.  Other characters also happen upon other useful things such as maps and a cooler containing a cure.

I did like the music, so there’s that - but then the voice over at the end almost wiped it out for me.  

So there you have it.  I just didn’t like it, and if someone could please explain to me what’s up with that scene involving the infected masturbating woman and the infected dude banging his head against the wall - it would be very helpful. 

Or maybe it wouldn’t.

Again this is just all my opinion.  Add this to your repertoire,  I wouldn’t tell anyone not to watch it.  In fact, I see lots of praise for this movie.  So like most things, it’s someones cup of tea, just not mine.

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