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Review: Shudder’s ‘An Unquiet Grave’

An Unquiet Grave

Tag Line:So Will Our Parts Decay
Release Date:2020
Director:Terence Krey.
Written By:Christine Nyland, Terence Krey.
Cast: Christine Nyland, Jacob A. Ware.
Running Time:1 hour and 12 minutes.

People grieve in different ways. Some keep their feelings bottled inside until they are alone. Some cry and cry publicly and openly. Some keep themselves busy. Some cannot and don’t want to do anything.

And some people hold a bizarre ritual involving blood and incense at the very spot where their wife died in a car accident in an attempt to raise her from the dead.

‘An Unquiet Grave’ is a small movie with an impressive story. There are just two cast members: Christine Nyland as Ava and Jacob A. Ware as Jamie. There are just four settings: A grave, an accident scene by the side of a road, a car and a house. In spite of its minimalism, director Terence Krey’s first feature film is blanketed in anticipation for what will happen next again and again. It is incredibly riveting from the very first scene to the very last.

A year following his wife’s tragic death in an auto accident, Jamie convinces her twin sister Ava to join him in a ceremony that he hopes will resurrect her, bring her back to the land of the living. You would think that her corpse would be a little worse for wear by then but that doesn’t stop Jamie or Ava.

What Ava doesn’t know though is that Jamie hasn’t let her in on a very crucial and important part of the plan. It is something that could change their lives forever.

Christine Nyland, Jacob A. Ware in ‘An Unquiet Grave’. Courtesy: Shudder.

Jamie walks in the very footsteps of Pet Sematary’s Louis Creed, the father of Gage and Ellie, the husband of Rachael. He is drowning in sorrow and perhaps in an ultimate act of selfishness will do anything possible, sacrifice anything, to turn back the clock and spit in the face of fate, sort of like what Doctor Frankenstein did in a roundabout way.

To reveal any more of the plot would really spoil the twists and turns of Nyland and Krey’s nimble and bewitching tale but suffice it to say that is sort of, could be, somewhat inspired by W. W. Jacobs’ highly influential short story ‘The Monkey’s Paw’.

The entire film is solidly on the shoulders of Nyland and Ware and they bear the weight effortlessly. In each and every scene there is no place for them to hide and they respond with career-making, true star-making performances.

Some may say that An Unquiet Grave might have been better suited edited down and part of an anthology series like Twilight Zone or Creepshow. While that could be true, as a film the story is told in such a way that it keeps us frantically anticipating and guessing how the new developments will play themselves out. The only scene I didn’t care for at all was the final one. It just seemed very gimmicky and unnecessary. It ends things on a bit of a down note instead of perhaps the mystery Krey was hoping for.

Just like a small playhouse can outdo an expensive Broadway production if it has the heart and the soul, Krey’s An Unquiet Grave shows that you don’t need expensive special effects or a cast of Hollywood A-listers to tell a great and in this case, a chilling story.

An Unquiet Grave debuts on Shudder on Thursday, June 24th.

GravestonesbodybagssmCar crash death.
Naughty Bits plucked_penguin Some female boobs.
Memorable Dialoguedialoguesm Jamie : You’ve never looked the same to me.
dialoguesm Jamie : You always smell like cigarettes.
dialoguesmAva: What if we are doing the wrong thing?
Pints of Blood  / 5bloodsm
Rating 7_couches

Top Photo: Christine Nyland, Terence Krey in ‘An Unquiet Grave’. Courtesy: Shudder.

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