Open Grave (2014)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A man (Sharlto Copley, DISTRICT 9, ELYSIUM) wakes up in a pit of dead bodies with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Fleeing the scene, he breaks into a nearby house and is met at gunpoint by a group of terrified strangers, all suffering from memory loss. Suspicion gives way to violence as the group starts to piece together clues about their identities, but when they uncover a threat that's more vicious -- and hungry -- than each other, they are forced to figure out what brought them all together -- before it's too late. (c) Tribeca

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Critic Reviews for Open Grave

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

The road to the finale is littered with dead bodies and red herrings, but Open Grave is more notable for its laid-back approach to storytelling than for its plot twists.

Jan 7, 2014 | Full Review…

Where the story leads is so disappointing-and hackneyed-it makes the entire journey feel like an enormous waste of time.

Jan 3, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The film's aura of mystery only works in the first 20 minutes or so, when it seems effortless; after that it feels like it's working very hard to keep the truth obscured, and in so doing just becomes a colorless slog.

Jan 2, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/10 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

As a demonstration of a director's improvement? Check this one out. As a showcase of the genre or this type of plot device? There are better choices.

Oct 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The film doesn't break any new ground, and with a few tweaks, it could have packed a far greater punch.

Sep 7, 2014 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

Open Grave starts off well enough, but soon finds itself as lost and confused as its amnesiac characters.

Jul 14, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Open Grave

Not as terrible a film as the reviews made it out to be. It's definitely a movie that requires a lot of patience as a lot of the story hinges on the reveal of what is actually happening in the midst of red herrings and misdirection. You're kept as much in the dark as the characters in the film...that can be a positive and a negative. It's a positive in the sense that it keeps up the suspense. It's a negative because it pretty much stalls character development. It's all about finding out who they were and not getting to know them as they are right now. I guess you could say the film does find a balance between the two, but I don't think it does at least. Because of that, in some parts, the movie can drag tremendously and feel completely aimless. You've no idea what the endgame is and you're completely left at the mercy of the screenwriters and the film crew. If they wanted to throw in aliens out of nowhere then, no matter how cheap it was, they'd be able to get away with it since they pretty much sidestepped addressing the issue until it absolutely needed to. I had to watch this in two sittings because I was so tired I had to sleep, so because of that the film probably flowed much better than it would've if I had watched it in one sitting. It's just one of those movies. While the film is certainly trite and unoriginal, I think it does a good job at keeping you intrigued enough to make you watching until the end. I think there's a sense of intrigue and mystery that makes watching somewhat interesting. You're invested in finding out what happens. The acting is perfectly fine, if unspectacular, but it also lacks a bit of consistency. Can't put my finger around it, but something about the acting felt really off to me. I found the climax, everything before the last shot itself, to be a little sentimental and melodramatic for what is supposed to be a tense experience. The last shot itself is pretty dark and depressing where all hope is gone and the future is incredibly uncertain. So many people have been lost, that it's hard to believe that, if you think about it as a continuous world even after the film ends, then finding a cure for this plague, that wiped out a large chunk of the world, will really make up for how many people were lost. But this reveal feels really cheap in my opinion, because while it has everything to do with what's going on in the actual film, it also has nothing to do with it. It's weird how that works. The reveal that they're a group of scientists working a cure for a plague has nothing to do with the amnesia all of the characters have. To me, it comes across as a way to needlessly complicate the plot. Instead of telling a simple story about the zombie apocalypse, they had to complicate matters by adding in the amnesia stuff to make it seem like it's fresh and original. It accomplished the exact opposite, cause it's obvious why it was done. I appreciate the effort, but it didn't work. If you look at Contracted, an anti-zombie film if I ever saw one, it tells the start of the zombie apocalypse in a very clever way that, if it would've been seen by enough people, would've pretty much revitalized the genre. I think this doesn't try as much to revitalize it as much as it tries to throw you off from ever thinking about the fact that it is a film about the zombie apocalypse. It does so in a hackneyed manner, but at least it makes an effort. Ill-fated, but an effort is made nonetheless. Wouldn't exactly recommend this film, doesn't really offer anything new or that interesting. Requires a lot of patience and will probably annoy more people than it will satisfy.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

loved the grave scenes, has some cool elements and great actors... its pretty interesting, just felt like it could have had a little more to it. still cool tho

Shawn Montague
Shawn Montague

Super Reviewer

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The moment you wake up, the nightmare begins. Good movie! "Open Grave" is a smart movie. Its well thought out narrative structure invites you to constantly try to solve the puzzle. This suspense is maintained all the way until the last ~20mins of the movie. The story and heavy atmosphere are supported by the superb acting and skilled cinematography. It is almost impossible to not get immersed in the movie's microcosm. There are also a few good scares and action sequences to easy the pacing and give your brain time to relax. A man wakes up in a pit of dead bodies with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Fleeing the scene, he breaks into a nearby house and is met at gunpoint by a group of terrified strangers, all suffering from memory loss. Suspicion gives way to violence as the group starts to piece together clues about their identities, but when they uncover a threat that's more vicious - and hungry - than each other, they are forced to figure out what brought them all together - before it's too late.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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