Nightstream 2020 review: ‘An Unquiet Grave’ digs deep into grief.

A year after losing his wife in a car crash, Jamie convinces her sister, Ava, to return with him to the site of the accident and help him perform a strange ritual. But as the night wears on, it becomes clear that he has darker intentions.

As someone who understands grief, An Unquiet Grave hit me on a much deeper level. But, on the other hand, as a horror and occult fan, I understand that bringing back the dead never goes as planned. Would I wish nothing more than to bring back my loved one? Yes. Do I understand what a terrible fucking idea it would be to attempt such a thing? Also, Yes. The same cannot be said about our leading man, Jaimie. He misses his wife so much he’s willing to lie to her twin sister in order to feel her again. Poor Ava is in the dark in more ways than one. She is not going to sit idly by in any form or fashion.

In the beginning, the outstanding atmospheric score lulls you into a sense of safety all while letting you know something is amiss. As the film progresses, it is its own character, always lurking, and most certainly representing what we cannot see. The majority of the film takes place in the dark, which in itself leads to unsettling thoughts. I was constantly seeking things just out of frame or in the background. Bravo to the sound editors, as well. I got goosebumps with each deliberately placed effect. Jacob A. Ware is phenomenal as Jaime. You absolutely understand where he is coming from but ultimately are equal parts terrified of him and furious with him. Christine Nyland, who also co-wrote the script with director Terence Krey, gives a breathtaking performance. Her emotional nuance from beat to beat is stunning. She and Ware are brilliantly paired. There is the perfect amount of uncomfortable tension, making An Unquiet Grave a visceral watch. Krey has cultivated the complexities of grief in a truly upsetting but engrossing film. It will stick with Nighstream 2020 audiences for longer than they’re comfortable with.

AN UNQUIET GRAVE

World Premiere
USA | 2020 | 72 Min.
Dir. Terence Krey