The fact that filmmakers can still come up with original screenplays about zombies is beyond impressive. The zombie sub-genre has been increasing in popularity over the past decade or so and it doesn’t seem like the trend is going to stop anytime soon. There are plenty of low-budget zombie flicks being churned out month after month, but it is the films that manage to stand out above the rest that will be remembered. Gonzalo López-Gallego’s Open Grave is one of those films.
A man wakes up in a huge hole in the ground that is filled with hundreds of dead bodies with no memory or who he is or how he got there. When he is rescued from the grave, he discovers a house full of people who also have no idea of who they are or what is going on. As the group explores their surroundings, their memories begin to trickle back into focus, allowing them to remember what exactly occurred not too long ago…
Open Grave is a zombie film, but it is also much more than that. It plays out as a character-driven, mystery thriller with the spirit of a “whodunnit” horror. The best part of it is, the characters, and therefore us, the audience, don’t know exactly what it is that “who” did!
I’ve seen some great, original takes on this ever-growing sub-genre over the past couple of years. Films like Pontypool, Exit Humanity, and Contracted have all introduced innovative stories, but Open Grave still manages to differentiate itself from the rest. In fact, if you didn’t read the synopsis for the film on the cover package or any website, you wouldn’t even know it was a story about a zombie-like virus until the last 30 minutes or so. The fact that the director and his team of writers, Eddie Borey and Chris Borey, were able to pull this off is really impressive, in and of itself.
The acting from each performer was outstanding, portraying characters with amnesia wonderfully. Sharlto Copley (Europa Report, Oldboy) and Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong, Dracula 3D) were among the actors who shined, taking their roles and really delivering.
If you’re a fan of all things zombie, you definitely don’t want to miss Open Grave. It is now available on Blu-ray and DVD from Cinedigm.
I give this film 3.5 foreign medical books out of 5.