“I feel like I’ve done some things that I wasn’t proud of.”
A man (Sharlto Copley) wakes in a pit filled with bodies with his keys but no identifying documents on him or anything. Struggling to make sense of what is happening and panicking, he is saved when a mute woman (Josie Ho) drops a rope down to pull him out. Taking a gun with him from the pit, he ascends and soon loses her. All alone, he eventually ventures along and comes across a house. Entering, he finds more people in there, one armed. Nobody seems to have a memory, though the strangers all have identifying documents aside from the mute woman, whom they call Brown Eyes. The mute woman is there as well as a German man and some Americans. The man to wander in without a name is christened John and the remainders are Lukas (Thomas Kretschmann), Sharon (Erin Richards), Nathan (Joseph Morgan), and Michael (Max Wrottesley). After a heated discussion, grudgingly the weapons are lowered and the group starts to ask their questions.
The house that they are staying in is fully stocked with the things that they need to survive as well as an extremely well stocked gun cabinet. Everyone has the sense that they somehow know each other, but are not quite sure how. Attempting to piece together what happened, the group waits for first light to start looking around, and everyone is treating John with hostility. Matters are not helped when a cabin type shelter is found with a woman being fed by Brown Eyes. The occupant seems to be like the living dead. Moreover, their are corpses strung up all over the show around the property, though it is not known why it would be that way. Lukas is very mistrustful of John, and unhappy when it seems that John is taking control of the group to get things running. His sentiments seem to be shared by Michael. Some of the group eventually finds stranded and hidden vehicles on the road, and a picture showing the entire group together with the exception of John. John is afraid that the group will get rid of him. He goes with Sharon in one of the vehicles and comes across an abandoned building. There is a child there whose animosity towards John is palpable, and who calls him Jonah. So now he, too, has a name, and a kid refusing to come near him and screaming about the eighteenth.
Michael has been attacked by one of the zombie creatures at the fence, and Jonah kills the creature. Jonah is having violent flashbacks of many things, sure that he is somehow involved with what is going on or that he used to be a very bad man. Lukas, on the other hand, is getting very ill. He finds a basement type area at the house, and is angered when he gets his hand on a video recorder that clearly depicts Jonah administering brutal tests to Lukas. Lukas attacks Jonah when he returns with Sharon, and will not listen to reason. Sharon is now afraid of Jonah, too, and he is banished from what remains of the group. He leaves, and finds the child from earlier fleeing by swapping cars in the forest, and a few people claiming that he really is a terrible man and that his name really is Jonah. He feels awful, and desperately wishes to make sense of who and what he was before his memory disappeared. Exploring the nearby car moves him with more flashback, and provides some of the much desired evidence he is looking for.
What happened to the group of people to have wiped their memories? Who were they before they woke up in the house? Who is Jonah, really? What did he do before his memory was wiped that has branded him such an evil monster? Why are their so many corpses surrounding the property? Why are the few survivors they come across violent, deadly and zombie-like?
A 6/10 for Open Grave. While certainly not the freshest to the genre or anything particularly new, predictable in plenty of places and just a little dull in others, Open Grave was not a bad watch. I was glad to see Copley doing something more than a terribly embarrassing Agent Kruger, and must admit that he does not completely desecrate any and all accents that he comes into contact with. I enjoyed him in this movie, and it showcases a little bit more of what he does. He definitely was the best member of the cast and the most worth looking into seeing as he was the only one that had a growth arc. The concept of the film is a little broken at times, but it was alright at the end of it all, definitely not worth the tirade that so many people have directed against it. The acting was questionable at times, but not bad enough for me to turn it off. It kept me entertained, though not necessarily guessing all the way. Everyone was just a little bit too calm in my opinion for the amount of bodies they were coming across, and not too interested in why there were these massive dumping pits. I liked the way the film was shot, it helped set the mood overall. This is a decent film to pop in when you aren’t looking for anything that takes itself too seriously or demands too much of your time.