‘An Unquiet Grave’ Horror Movie Review: Death Becomes Her [Nightstream]
An Unquiet Grave is a real Monkey’s Paw “be careful what you wish for” scenario. It all unfolds between three characters and only two actors. It’s less of a scary horror movie, although there are plenty of unsettling bits, but the focus is on the drama of these three reconciling with what they did, and whether the ends justify the means.
Awakening ‘An Unquiet Grave’
Jamie (Jacob A. Ware) meets up with Ava (Christine Nyland) at the grave of Ava’s twin sister, Julia. Jamie has been studying how to bring Julia back and Ava is game. Julia’s return creates complications for all three mourners.
Nyland also co-wrote ,with director Terence Krey, this double role with complicated emotions to play. The subject of reanimating the dead technically makes An Unquiet Grave a horror movie, but its focus is really in how these characters deal with what they’ve done.
‘An Unquiet Grave’ is all about grief
Raising the dead is audacious for sure, but An Unquiet Grave devotes time to the root motivations for disobeying the natural laws. It’s about both Jamie and Ava dealing with grief over the loss of Julia. They are using supernatural means to recover her, but it’s still an aspect of coping. Most of the supernatural factors happen in dialogue between Ware and Nyland, not special effects.
Then there’s also Julia’s grief to consider. Remember, something happened to her too. It’s not just about the people she left behind. Most people never have to mourn their own deaths. Only in ghost stories does that happen. Julia’s not a ghost but this unique situation allows her to explore mourning her own death too.
Learning to crawl again
An Unquiet Grave also deals with Julia adjusting to her own return. Imagine how that is for her. It’s a year later. She meets a Jamie who’s been through a year of grief, and has all sorts of hopes and expectations for her. Imagine Julia might not be too happy with what Ava has sacrificed to do this either.
The film doesn’t really resolve the conflict, because how can you? Once this happens you’re kinda stuck with it, like it or not. An Unquiet Grave explores it and leaves the character to live with what they’ve done.
It is a solid vehicle for Ware and Nyland’s performances. It always feels more personal when talent creates the vehicle for themselves. The two leads, and Krey, have collaborated before so you can feel the added layer of they believe in this drama so much they had to make it themselves.
An Unquiet Grave premiered at the Nightstream Film Festival. Look for it in release after the festival ends.