Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Open Graves (2009)

logoDirector: Alvaro de Arminan

Writer: Roderick Taylor, Bruce A Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Vogel, Eliza Dushku, Ethan Rains, Naike Rivelli, Lidsay Caroline Robba, Gary Piquer, Alex O’Dogherty

Plot: A group of surfers discover an old board game which claims a life every time it is played.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Jumanji the death game

Story: Open Graves starts with a young woman being tortured in Spain 1485. we flash forward to the present day where we meet surfer buddies Jason (Vogel) Tomas (Rains) and Lisa (Robba) where Jason has taken a shinning to Erica (Dushku). We meet Detective Izar (Piquer) as he investigates an apparent skinning alive victim. Jason exploring the town meets a man talking about voodoo before being given a game called Mamba.

Due to a storm the friends find themselves stuck inside and decide to give Mamba a go. As the friends start the game we see the supporting characters whose names we don’t get told leaves on a beer run and ends up dying much like how the game suggests he will. When more of the friends start dying the friends start investigating the history of the game and search for a way to stop the curse of the board game before they all become victims.

Open Graves ends up trying to give us a violent version of Jumanji which really doesn’t work for the film, the deaths end up mixing Jumanji riddles with Final Destination chances. The characters all come off dislikeable all making poor personal choice which lead to their death. I did like the final twist though because it shows the same problem happening between the characters. The story ends up coming off very unoriginal and lacks that spark a good idea using this concept could have had. (3/10)

Actor Review

Mike Vogel: Jason is the surfer trying to have a good trip away when he takes a shine to Erica, when he starts looking around the town he is given a game called Mamba which along with his friends start playing learning the consequences along the way. Mike has done some good films but this really ends up being one of the bad ones. (4/10)

Eliza Dushku: Erica is the American that has become the object of Jason’s affection and has to work with the friends to solve what is happening with the game. Eliza was a kick ass character in the past what happened? (3/10)

Support Cast: Open Graves has a forgettable supporting cast that all come off very boring and just end up become victims.

Director Review: Alvaro de Arminan – Alvaro doesn’t manage to stretch the story enough to make it interesting relying on poor effects. (3/10)

Horror: Open Graves doesn’t have any scares but does have horror idea of being hunted down by a spirit looking to make you pay for how a game ended. (4/10)

Thriller: Open Graves doesn’t keep you guessing because it tells you how they will die in riddle. (1/10)

Settings: Open Graves brings the action to Spain but it could easily have been set anywhere really. (4/10)
Special Effects: Open Graves has a right mixed bag of effects, one minute they are good then they are terrible. (3/10)

Suggestion: Open Graves is one to avoid because it offers nothing new, and ends u making you feel very flat. (Avoid)

Best Part: Nope

Worst Part: The rest.

What Could Have Been Better?original deaths

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No, but I think I nearly did once it was over because I was so happy it finished. (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $6.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Curses last forever

Overall: The game that will send you to sleep

Rating 15


Terrence Howard Weekend – The Brave One (2007)

brave oneDirector: Neil Jordan

Writer: Roderick Taylor, Bruce A Taylor, Cynthia Mort (Screenplay) Roderick Taylor, Bruce A Taylor (Story)

Starring: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen


Plot: A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brooding Revenge Thriller


Story: The Brave One starts with our radio host Erica Bain (Foster) who loves and knowns the streets of New York, her fiancée David (Andrews) is a doctor and the two plan to get married as soon as possible. The two never seeing too much wrong in their day find themselves victims of a group of thugs who beat David to death and leave Erica fighting for her life.

Once Erica recovers she finds out the truth about what happened to David before having to face the questions from Detectives Mercer (Howard) & Vitale (Katt) as she remains haunted by the events of that night. Worried about her safety Erica purchases her own gun as she starts her own trail of vengeance against anyone who has wronged people as she cleans up the streets she learns that her killing isn’t having the desired affects she would desire.

The Brave One is a revenge thriller that plays into vigilante with revenge. The film follows the victim who doesn’t get the answers needed from the law so she takes it into her own hands. While this isn’t a direct revenge thriller our leading lady finds herself in the chance to kill or be killed before getting into the idea of cleaning up crime work. The film is slightly slow when it comes to getting into the action as it focuses on the effects on Erica dealing with what happened to her. It is a nice spin on what we have seen before but the final act is really exciting.


Actor Review


Jodie Foster: Erica Bain is the victim of a vicious attack from a group of thugs that leaves her fiancée dead and her fighting for her life. Once physically recovered she doesn’t recover mentally as she sets out on her own path of vengeance against the men responsible for her situation and the people leaving others in similar ones. Jodie is great in this role as we see her go through a large change through the film.erica

Terrence Howard: Detective Mercer is getting tired of all the criminals getting away crimes as he starts to praise the vigilante taking out the criminals as he tries to find legal loopholes. When he starts to become friends with Erica he hints at criminals as he looks to take down a powerful drug lord. Terrence is good in this supporting role as the worn out cop tired of the criminals.mercer

Nicky Katt: Detective Vitale is the partner for Mercer who never full seems as worn out by the legal side of police work as Mercer is. He treats it like a job and nothing more. Nicky is a basic supporting character not really offering much to the rest of the film.

Naveen Andrews: David Kirmani is the fiancée of Erica, he is a doctor and the two plan to be married, when the pair run into a group of thugs they both are left fighting for their lives where David takes the worst of the beatings as he is killed leaving Erica alone in the world. Naveen is good in this small supporting role that is pivotal to the outcome of this film.davd

Support Cast: The Brave One has a supporting cast that all end up being either side of the law as Erica goes on her clean up mission.

Director Review: Neil JordanNeil gives us a good brooding revenge thriller that keeps us on the edge without fully pulling us through.


Crime: The Brave One brings us into the world as a victim gets to witness the crimes and has to make the decision on how to act.

Thriller: The Brave One keeps us on the edge of as we wonder what Erica will get to up next.

Settings: The Brave One uses New York for the setting showing both the good and bad sides of the popular city.
Special Effects
: The Brave One uses great effects to show kills being involved.

Suggestion: The Brave One is on to try, if you want a well told revenge thriller this is great but if you are looking for a quick blood filled revenge thriller you will be disappointed. (Try It)


Best Part: Final Kill.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Act.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $70 Millions

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: How many wrongs to make it right?


Overall: Slow moving thriller that really ends up packing the punches needed