Open Graves (2009) | It’s Final Destination meets Jumanji in Spain

Open Graves (2013)

If you screamed along to the Final Destinaton films and enjoyed the wild adventure that was Jumanji then 2009’s Open Graves, might be up your street. Set on the rugged coast of northern Spain, the film stars Eliza Dushku, Mike Vogel and an ancient board game with a deadly secret…

Open Graves (2013)

After buying the antique item from a paraplegic American, Vogel’s surfer dude Jason, his new friend Erica (Dushku), and a bunch friends attempt to play the game, in which the winner is granted their heart’s desire. But the game turns out to be all too real.

Made from the skin and bones of a 15th-century witch called Mamba, the game comes with a price – those who lose meet with a gruesome death as dictated by the card they draw. One guy falls off a cliff and gets his eyes gouged out by hordes of crabs, while venomous black mamba snakes kills another; one girl withers and dies of old age, while another meets a fiery end. It’s then up to wetsuit clad goth Dushku and hunky Vogel to find a way to beat the curse…

Open Graves (2013)

Open Graves starts promisingly and the first death scene is worthy of Argento, but the film is soon let down by a lame script. The game’s concept makes for a great starting point, but it’s never properly developed. The special effects are effective, especially the grim-reaper dragonfly, but they lack impact – and the snakes are naff. As for the lovely Dushku, she’s underused and her character seems lost.

Open Graves (2013)

With a little more fine-tuning and better storyboarding, Open Graves, could have been a winner. But everything, apart from the beautiful setting, gets lost in translation. And I blame the film being aimed purely at an English-speaking market (everyone speaks English, including the locals and even the board game is in English and Latin).

While its no [REC], Open Graves is a fright-filled fun that will have you re-thinking eating a crab sandwich again sometime soon. Oh, and I won’t give away the ending, but here’s a hint, Monkey’s Paw.

Open Graves screens on The Horror Channel in the UK, with the next showings on Friday 12 June at 10.55pm and Thursday 18 June at 12.35am


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on June 12, 2015, in Horror, Might See, Might See, Might-See, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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