The disturbing setup for indie Shudder entry, An Unquiet Grave, is almost too good to be true. A grieving husband, Jamie (Jacob A. Ware), and his wife’s twin sister, Ava (Christine Nyland, who also wrote and produced), get together with a strange promise: Jamie has discovered a way to bring back his deceased wife. Traveling to the scene of the accident, there is a creepy atmosphere even before the duo perform a bizarre ritual. The promise is for Pet Sematary grime; the script defies expectations by instead honing in on character quirks and bleak dialogue about death and grieving.
With minimal characters and a confined setting, director Terence Krey opts for close-ups and evoking an unnerving mood to keep the viewer on edge. The full-circle, cyclical ending is a nice closing touch. At only 72 minutes in length, An Unquiet Grave feels like it could have made one excellent and chilling short film. Instead, the premise is stretched to its breaking point. It somehow manages to feel both too long and too short, never striking the right narrative balance. Though I was hungry for more, An Unquiet Grave is a slight, well-made indie, and it will no doubt find the right audience on Shudder.
An Unquiet Grave emerges on Shudder on Thursday, June 24th.