Dig Two Graves (2014)

Ted Levine, Samantha Isler, Danny Goldring, Troy Ruptash,
After her brother's tragic death, a young girl is approached by three men who claim they can bring her brother back to life.
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Jeremy Phillips, Writer:
  • Hunter Adams, Director:
  • Claire Connelly, P.J. Fishwick, Producer:

Trailer:

7 / 10

At least it tried to be different

I will give the makers of "Dig Two Graves" some credit where credit is due. First of all, despite having a real low budget, the movie does look very decent; the movie looks technically sound, and has some striking images every so often. Second, while you may think you're able to guess how the movie plays out from its plot description, the movie does surprise by going down a much different path. Unfortunately, in the end I probably would have preferred had the movie gone down the most expected path, even though there have been many movies before it that have gone down the same path. Although the movie only runs 84 minutes long, it plays out in an extremely slow manner, and for the first two-thirds constantly spins its wheels with very little to nothing of consequence happening. Another problem is that there are some head-scratching plot points that are ultimately not answered in a satisfactory manner, or simply not given any effort in answering at all. In the end, the movie is too unsatisfying to recommend, despite it being obvious that the filmmakers were trying for something different than usual. Maybe next time...

7 / 10

Very good mid-Western noir with supernatural undertones

A teenage girl makes a Faustian pact with a trio of gypsies who promise that they can use the occult to bring back her recently dead brother in return for the life of an innocent person of their choosing.

Dig Two Graves is a film which I definitely hope is picked up and given a proper distribution. It would be a criminal waste otherwise, as this is a very well-made supernatural tinged thriller. It brought me to mind of Winter's Bone (2010) in which it shared both the derelict and battered location (both films were shot on either side of the same river seemingly), as well as a story of a teenage girl in the middle of a dangerous situation created by the past actions of the adults who surround her, the upshot being that this youngster comes across as the most level-headed character in her neighbourhood. While this one doesn't measure up to the quality of Winter's Bone as such, it remains a very good effort indeed and one that deserves a wide distribution, as I truly expect that this one will connect with many people. The story is set in 1977 but there are several flashbacks to 1947, it seems that there was a very bad event in the past that has informed the present, with ghosts from the past returning to the surface demanding closure in one way or another.

Director Hunter Adams has done a very good job here, putting together an interesting dark story and ensuring that it looks great throughout. Like a lot of regional films, the southern Illinois setting is a character in itself, with the run-down locales contrasting with the beautiful natural scenery – it's a great location for a mysterious thriller. Setting it in the 70's is a bonus, as it ensures that modern technology does not get in the way of the story, while benefiting the supernatural angle that underpins it; the period detail additionally adds appealing visual flavour to proceedings also. Another plus point is the acting, with Ted Levine given a very rare lead role. He is most well-known to genre fans for his highly creepy turn as Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), in this one he is a conflicted lawman with dark and troubling secrets and his talents bring a lot to the table here. Even better is newcomer Samantha Isler who puts in a very good performance as the young girl at the centre of the narrative. She is thoroughly convincing and sympathetic here. In summary, this is a beautifully photographed and well-acted dramatic thriller, with an intriguing story and great location. Hopefully it will find its way to a wider audience.

7 / 10

Yes, it was actually quite good.

What lengths would you go to to see deceased loved ones again? What would you sacrifice to right what has been wronged? The film is essentially about the consequences of two corrupt police officers. This is pure evil, done perfectly from an innocent child's perspective. Well acted with very good visuals. It is even more disturbing to see what a teenager is prepared to sacrifice to overcome her sorrow and suffering. Samantha Isler was exceptionally good in this role.

Very good, albeit a bit weird at times. The film is labelled a 'gothic thriller', though.

8 / 10

Well, this was a cool surprise.

A unique and provocative thriller about rising above the sins of the past, it's slightly heightened yet familiar, like a surreal nightmare. Imagine the otherworldly evil of The Witch thrown into the realistic American heart of It, but without any of the blatant horror of either. Even with the unwieldy storytelling, it's a beautifully gothic and creepy indie, hiding within the bowels of Netflix like a deep dark secret in a family tree.

6 / 10

beautiful and boring

this is such an amazingly crafted film, with a very low-key subtle style that is genuinely compelling, and Ted Levine makes his character an absolute joy to watch and listen to.

the problem with the movie is despite how stylish and well-crafted it is, it's boring. I can't think of any genuine knock on the film other than perhaps its pacing, but that alone isn't enough to explain why it's just so boring