An Unquiet Grave (2021) Doesn’t Make Much Noise
Title: An Unquiet Grave
First Wide Release: June 24, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Terence Krey
Writer: Christine Nyland, Terence Krey
Runtime: 72 Minutes
Starring: Jacob A. Ware, Christine Nyland
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Jamie (Jacob A. Ware) and his sister-in-law, Ava (Christine Nyland) are still trying to get over the death of Julia, Jamie's wife and Ava’s twin sister. Unsatisfied with a life without her, they decide to bring her back regardless of the cost. They travel to the place where she died, the woods near an isolated stretch of road, and begin a ritual to undo her demise. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and when she returns, she is not happy. What choices will they make in the end and what becomes of the living and the dead?
An Unquiet Grave is a middling supernatural tale of loss and grief that lacks innovation and interest.
It’s clear that An Unquiet Grave is an indie venture that goes for atmosphere over everything. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say for a film that feels incomplete. Thanks to an overstretched first act, what could be a much longer and interesting story ends up fizzling out in a rushed and unmemorable finale. The simplicity becomes rather repetitive after the first forty minutes and becomes even more muddled the closer the audience gets to the end. The writing doesn’t do it any favors by crafting dull characters without much to do besides wander around in the dark.
Speaking of which, it’s amazing how much dialogue can be created without advancing its characters at all. Jamie and Ava are textbook examples of cardboard cutouts, and don’t even feel like real people. We also know very little about Julia once she returns and her lack of development makes her undefined and underwhelming. The two actors here are fine, but don’t do much to bring the lifeless outlines to life, which is ironic considering the plot.
The message of the film is clear: don’t wake the dead. It isn’t a cinema sin to revive a commonly used trope, but it is easier to get buy in when a new angle of some kind is explored. An Unquiet Grave just doesn’t do that. Instead, it devolves into a slightly longer and emptier knock-off episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ without the social commentary it’s known for. This dull and dark film doesn’t do much in the way of exciting audiences or setting the world on fire. It’s just there. I can give it points for crafting some fine visuals and eerie atmosphere, but that is about it.
Despondent in tone and feeling, nothing of any interest happens. I wish that the team behind the film got more creative with the story they wanted to tell. It’s clear that this is meant to be a personal film, but the lack of serious development or payoff hinders it from achieving anything other than inducing yawns. With a bigger budget and a more clearly defined point, this film could have been a creepy flick with a message.
There’s not much else to say here. It’s not that An Unquiet Grave is exceptionally bad, but there’s not much going for it either. The problems it faces are primarily in its lackluster script and stagnant plot. When blandness and hopelessness are the tonal inspirations for your film, it’s going to have issues hooking in viewers. Overall, there’s much wasted potential here that I can only assume comes down to budget constraints and a lack of creativity. I’d advise that you don’t make much noise or fuss over this and skip the funeral services.
Overall Score? 4.5/10