When you lose someone close, the grieving process can be brutal. The despair, heartbreak, and anguish can often be too much to bear. First there are tears of sadness which lead to denial, which in turn shifts to anger.
For so many of us who have gone through the grieving process, there’s also the fleeting comfort that arises from the thought of bringing a deceased love one back from the grave so you can talk to them one last time. That notion lays the groundwork for “An Unquiet Grave,” a haunting, thoughtful movie about a man who cannot seem to move on with his life after his wife’s unexpected death.
Jamie (Jacob A. Ware) lost his wife Julia in a car accident a year ago when a drunk driver hit the couple on the way home from a book store. Jamie is still having difficulty coping with the fact that the love of his life is gone, so he turns to Julia’s twin sister Ava (Christine Nyland) for comfort and support. He has become an increasingly desperate man, and convinces Ava to return with him to the site of the accident so the pair can perform an unexplained ritual at the exact spot where Julia died. It seems like a harmless way to placate the still-grieving husband and help him finally heal, but the voodoo-esque sorcery feels a little too real — especially when it becomes clear that darker forces (and even darker intentions) may be at play.
The film relies on its screenplay for a dialogue-heavy hook and the story, while simple, is chilling. There may be supernatural elements to the narrative, but everything about it somehow feels real. Director Terence Krey doesn’t rely on big-budget special horror effects (or cheap jump scares) and instead makes excellent use of sound (crunching footsteps), light (flickering headlights), and downright creepy situations (no spoilers here) to keep you on the edge of your seat.
“An Unquiet Grave” is perceptive in its attention to detail as it relates to the human psychology of hope and grief. It has plenty to say about those left behind who mourn for so long that their loved ones are never able to find peace in the grave, and these themes help make the film a smart, satisfying thriller.