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AN UNQUIET GRAVE (2020)
Directed by Terence Krey.
Written by Terence Krey, Christine Nyland.
Starring Christine Nyland, Jacob A. Ware
A year ago, Jamie’s wife was killed in a car accident. Now Jamie (Jacob A. Ware) has convinced his wife’s sister Ava (Christine Nyland) to perform a ritual that may be able to bring his wife back to life. But as the night goes on, it is clear that this ritual is not what it seems.
Reminiscent of a film I just reviewed called WOE, AN UNQUIET GRAVE is a somber and downright depressing look at loss and the ramifications it has on those left behind. While I think WOE was a better dissection of these feelings, AN UNQUIET GRAVE does a decent job of illustrating the desperation some feel when a life is taken unexpectedly. For that, I think this is a capable and strongly acted film as it illustrates these feelings with a mature and thoughtful hand.
Still, I could see a lot of people getting frustrated with AN UNQUIET GRAVE because it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles most modern horror films possess. There are no real jump scares. There is a general sense of unease, guilt, and torment. But those feelings come from long scenes of getting to know the two characters that populate this film. It is impressive that director Terence Krey was able to accomplish so much with only two actors and fill a film with it, but I think many might argue that this feels like a full film and not a bunch of conversations about life and death between two sad people. I get it. The stakes of AN UNQUIET PLACE are somewhat low. Yes it involves life and death for our characters, which are as high a stakes as there are, but the way it all plays out feels almost like a blip in these two people’s lives.
I will say that both Christine Nyland, who co-wrote the film, and Jacob A. Ware are talented and likable actors. Nyland is especially strong as she basically has to play two characters due to the ritual in this film. The main issue is that this is a highly cerebral script that most likely would make for a much tighter and entertaining short film than a full length feature. This would cut out the long winded dialogs and get to the potent ritual stuff quickly and efficiently. As is, AN UNQUIET GRAVE is not a strong recommend for me as it really lags in spots. A strong sense of feeling is there, but it’s not enough if there isn’t enough story and sadly that’s what AN UNQUIET GRAVE has.