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Open Graves

3.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Feb 23, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

An international group of young surfers comes into possession of an ancient artifact, Mamba, an old board game made from the skin and bones of a witch executed during the Spanish Inquisition. At a drunken party one night, they casually decide to play. Its all fun and games until they find out that curses last forever and death is the ultimate undertow.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Vogel, Eliza Dushku, Ethan Rains, Naike Rivelli, Lindsay Caroline Robba
  • Directors: Álvaro de Armiñán
  • Writers: Bruce A. Taylor, Roderick Taylor
  • Producers: Antonio Cuadri, Billy Dietrich, Bruce A. Taylor, Dale Rosenbloom, Edward Llorente
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZNNXD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,660 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Open Graves" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Open Graves is slightly better than most straight-to-video horror flicks, though by no means a standout movie. This was the directorial debut of Álvaro de Armiñán, and to his credit, the director does a solid job. He serves up good cinematography, and quality lighting. The film was shot in Spain, which makes for a beautiful and exotic backdrop for the story.

The plot obviously borrows ideas from Jumanji and Final Destination, though the execution of the concept is original. The first death in the movie is certainly more hardcore than what the Final Destination series offers up. My bigger complaints with the movie was that CGI effects were overused, and none of the acting performances stand out. I was also disappointed by the manner in which the Mamba game must be concluded (with a question), as the writer ripped the idea off from the speaking doors in Labyrinth.

I mostly watched this movie because of the ridiculously sexy Eliza Dushku, and coupled with the game design, it made for a decent horror movie. My opinion: Give this one a rent from Redbox before you decide on buying the DVD.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My purchase of this movie Open Graves was very prompt. The movie was just as I thought it would be with no scratches or anything. I was able to look at the movie with no interruptions and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the actors were good even though I had never seen these actors before this movie, at least not to my recollections. It was scary but not in a blood and guts way. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys this type of movie.
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Right up front, let it be said that this movie is not that bad; it's just not that good. Battling a gameboard named Mamba which could either be the name of a snake or sound like the name of a dance doesn't make for high class tension or scariness. If you don't beat the game, you die - and in the order that you lost in relation to others playing the game. The two leads, Dushku and Vogel, are your nominal heroes and eye candy. But, in the end, one cannot help but come away with the feeling that you have just watched a combination of rejected versions of THE FINAL DESTINATION and THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. The latter two at least made some sense within the framework of horror movies but this one lacked any real substance and rationale. Indeed, the penultimate appearance of a strange winged female creature who suddenly emerges from the sea is more reminiscent of the 1950s movie THE SHE CREATURE. To add some additional confusion to the story, this new creature looks a bit like Dushku. So what is this all about? Is Dushku not really human in the first place? And what happened to Dushku when she paddled out to sea supposedly to sacrifice herself and save her new boyfriend? Does anyone really care at this point? The final opportunity to defeat the game and restore the lost friends of the group only reveals how lacking in forethought and sound reasoning our "hero" really is. However, perhaps all of this was planned as a setup for OPEN GRAVES II, OPEN GRAVES III, OPEN GRAVES IV, and so forth. My final observation: Stick to MONOPOLY. It can be more fun and even scarier, especially if you land on Boardwalk with a hotel!
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Format: DVD
Some young adults (with models) are in Spain when one acquires a game from an artifacts dealer who apparently disliked him. If they complete the game, they get a wish. However, if they draw a death card, they are out of the game...all the way out. The game, from what I gathered originated during the Spanish Inquisition and is made from a witch's body parts. But don't worry, the curse cards to the game which describe their death are written in modern English with a font to make it look old. Phew! Didn't we see this in another movie with tarot cards?

The film is predictable with no twists. It lacked imagination.

F-bomb, brief sex, brief nudity, one guy gets crabs.
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Format: DVD
Open Graves (Alvaro de Aminan, 2009)

I think I saw this movie a couple of years ago, except back then it was directed by Joe Knee, it was called Ghost Game, and it was at least kind of watchable, in that horrific, can't-tear-your-eyes-away kind of way. Here, we have the stunning Eliza Dushku, who after a series of small but interesting roles really kicked her career off in 2000's Bring It On, and has made really, really bad movie choices ever since, from the execrable Soul Survivors to this particular piece of silliness, which combines the aforementioned Ghost Game with Final Destination (kind of) with a dash of Hellraiser to come up with something that manages to be both entirely unoriginal and entirely unscary. Kind of odd for a guy who's been assistant director and/or second unit director to such lights as Pedro Almodovar (Live Flesh, All About My Mother), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto), and Cesar Martinez Harrada (Everything in Place).

So anyway, plot: stoners/slackers on vacation (Cloverfield's Mike Vogel and stuntman Boris Martinez in his first acting role--neither of whom were scripted nearly as white as they are, judging by the way they make fun of Dushku's being white early in the film), along with a pouty model (Lindsay Caroline Robba, also in her first acting role) Pablo is shooting for a calendar and an enigmatic bathing beauty (Dushku) who comes along for, well, no apparent reason, pick up an old (as in Inquisition-era) game called Open Graves in a small market in Spain. It's rainy that night, so they decide to play with some other friends. They soon discover that every time the game is played, one of the players who drew a particular type of card loses his or her life in some really odd way.
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