Open Graves (DVD)

It’s only a game…

Derivative, convoluted and resolutely unscary, Open Graves bills itself as a surfing horror movie – but there’s very little board action and it’s horrific only in the artistic sense of the word. Like a hackneyed cross between Final Destination and Jumanji, the by-the-numbers plot sees a group of beautiful surfers – holidaying in a Spain where everyone speaks English with a Manuel-esque accent – assemble to play a mysterious board game called Mamba. Given that this is a game made from the bones and skin of a witch murdered in the 15th Century, this is, of course, a Very Bad Idea. And once the player begin dying in the order in which they were knocked out of the game, surviving players Jason (Mike Vogel) and Erica (Eliza Dushku) realise they must finish playing if they have a hope in hell of saving their friends.

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Spanish eyes…

At first glance, Vicky Cristina Barcelona doesn’t look like a regular Woody Allen movie. There is no soaring Manhattan skyline, no sign of Allen on screen and (almost) no neurotic psychoanalysing. In face Allen’s fourth in a quadrilogy of Europe-set movies (following Match Point, Scoop and Cassandra’s Dream) marks something of a brave new world for the 73-year-old direction, featuring as it does Spanish lotharios, lesbian dalliances and ménage a trois.

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