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Ghost Canyon

'Open Graves'
(Eliza Dushku, Mike Vogel, et al / DVD / R / (2009) 2010 / LGF)

Overview: 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. Itís all fun and games until they find out that curses last forever and death is the ultimate undertow.

DVD Verdict: Boy, do we get straight into this movie! I mean, I hit the play button and bam, we're back in early Spain watching some woman being tortured (watch out for that nail removal scene!) and then finally killed by priests!

I didn't even have time to get a drink of tea in my mouth before we'd quickly moved on again to present day (still in Spain) and the always-welcome sight of Eliza Dusku in swimsuit! Anyhoo, once that pace had settled down to a watchable build, well, it had become tedious!

I mean, I know this Spanish-American horror film, full of unsuspecting young surfers and their friends who play a freely-given board game on a whim, only to (slowly at first) discover that each of he seven players who play (once their cards have been drawn) meet the very same deaths of which said cards have (via some enigmatic verses) depicted, isn't exactly looking at winning an Oscar, but come on now - let's get the horror show on the road earlier!

So, as each (finally) is found dead in exactly the way the card predicted, our main male hero (Vogel) and his just-met female friend (Dusku) battle to discover what is going on and how to stop it ... as both landed on safe squares on the board. Sure this is badly scripted, and sure there is some cheesy CGI, but some death scenes are so very well done - such as the crabs and the young-to-old.

However, come the final ending, well, my God someone copped out when it came to writing a juicy twist of a tale. For this ending as as lame as humanely possible and lets the flick down badly, sorry! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with Special Features of:

English and Spanish Subtitles