An Unquiet Grave
Sometimes the best thing one can say about a micro-budget film is that the filmmakers would have been able to truly fulfil their vision with more money. But Terence Krey’s An Unquiet Grave is an especially frustrating endeavour because, even with limited resources, it doesn’t demonstrate potential. Running for just 72 minutes, it feels like a great short film idea, padded out to feature length – which only diminishes its power as a calling card for the filmmaker.
This horror movie, due to drop this month exclusively on Shudder as part of the streamer’s Summer of Chills line-up, centres on themes of resurrection and dealing with loss. One year after the unexpected death of his wife Julia, Jamie (Jacob A Ware) seeks closure by asking her twin sister Ava (Christine Nyland) to take in part in a ritual aimed to allow Julia to return in Ava’s body. A little bit Pet Sematary and a little bit The Dark Song – but not as ambitious as either – this is a very lowkey plot that mostly depends on the strengths of its performers.
Both Ware and Nyland deliver commendable performances, especially Nyland as she occupies the dual role of twin sisters and brilliantly navigates the experience of a spirit inhabiting a corporeal host. However, as compelling as the actors are, they ultimately don’t have much to work with. The enigma surrounding the ritual’s results wears thin quite early, leaving a chasm of empty narrative and characters largely undeveloped until the somewhat intriguing final moments.
It could be argued that the restrained nature of the drama is appropriate for a film about grief, and the lack of shock or surprise even effectively communicates the fear of loss being an unresolvable presence in life. It’s just a shame that a good message is wrapped up in a lot of humdrum.
An Unquiet Grave is released via Shudder on 21st June 2021.
Watch the trailer for An Unquiet Grave here: