Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Open Grave (2014)

Now here's a very pleasant surprise.
Occasionally a complete unknown gets popped into the player here at House of Mortal Cinema and exceeds expectations. Admittedly the bar has had to be set rather low on the basis of previous experiences, but still, it's nice to have your faith rewarded every now and then that it isn't a complete waste of time reviewing stuff that's completely unfamiliar.

A man wakes up in a mass open grave filled with corpses. He has no idea how he got there or why. A girl who either refuses to speak, or is unable to, helps him climb out. He wanders with her through a forest until they come to a house. The people within have no memory of how or why they are there either.

I'd like to say a lot more but I'm going to stop there because to continue would be to spoil what develops into an extremely satisfying horror movie. OPEN GRAVE is obviously low budget, with only a few actors and relying mainly on location filming. What's great about it is that it's been made by people who actually know what they are doing. The script is clever and keeps you guessing up until the end, the direction (by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego) is refreshingly free of wobble-cam, and while the film-makers could have gone down the found footage route they don't, which is something to be praised in itself. Acting is fine all round as well, and I'm not afraid to admit that by the end I was rather choked up. If OPEN GRAVE had been shown at FrightFest it would easily have made my top five.

Signature's DVD is bare bones. There's a 5.1 stereo surround option but no extras or commentary track. But get it anyway. OPEN GRAVE might just be one of the best horror films you're going to see this year. It proves that any genre (or subgenre, but I'm not telling you which) can be given a fresh spin with a little talent, dedication and care. Well done to everyone - highly recommended.

Signature Entertainment are releasing OPEN GRAVE on DVD on 13th October 2014

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