Dig Two Graves – USA, 2014

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Dig Two Graves is a 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Hunter Adams. The movie stars Ted Levine, Samantha Isler and Danny Goldring.

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After thirteen year-old Jacqueline Mather (Samantha Isler) loses her brother in a mysterious drowning accident, she is soon visited by three moonshiners who offer to bring her brother back to life… but at a grim cost.

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As the dark history of her grandfather, Sheriff Waterhouse (Ted Levine), is unearthed, the true intentions of the moonshiners come to light…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“The movie looks superbespecially for its minuscule budget. While Adams is clearly a very promising director, however, his screenwriting chops aren’t so advanced. This is one clunky amalgam of mystery and guilt.” Mike D’Angelo, AV Film

“Coldly captivating, but burning beautifully with an authentic Midwestern feel, cinematography is cleverly plotted without being unnecessarily creative […] what remains critically important to the film’s success is that its direction is decisive, the pacing makes sense, and performances are pointed. Dig Two Graves is a rare genre drama…” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

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“Adams and Phillips could’ve easily filled their screenplay with lengthy monologues. Rather than that they’ve opted for a more mysterious story, driven by elements of the Southern Gothic genre and rich, dark visuals. The grotesque caricature of Sheriff Waterhouse, Isler’s Jake with her non-conformist female role, the voodoo imagery; these familiar pieces form a compelling puzzle.” C.H. Newell, Film Inquiry:

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“While not an inherently bad experience, Dig Two Graves is just a vanilla thriller that brings little new to the table. I appreciated the ’70s aesthetic, and Ted Levine should always play a cop. Yet the weak structure and predictable story make it a forgettable endeavor.” Adam Patterson, Film Pulse

“With an intriguing story, interesting characters and an efficiently lithe run-time, Dig Two Graves is a thriller with some thought and a clear creative vision. Not only that, but the film feels like an entity of its own. There are enough dashes of originality to make this well worth seeking out.” Tom Jolliffe, Flickering Myth

“A backwoods gothic that’s more successful at conjuring atmosphere than delivering a satisfactorily cohesive plot, Dig Two Graves’ hints of horror gradually disperse, revealing a fairly conventional tale of revenge and redemption.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

” …captures the beauty of the natural landscape of Illinois, including a lightning storm reminiscent of an immersive IMAX feature on weather. The color composition of his shots are gorgeous, and light is played with just enough to inspire rather than distract. But movies are not made to be watched with the sound off, and Dig Two Graves excavates a shallow attempt at storytelling.” Karin Krighton, Horror Talk

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“It may not be what is considered a conventional revenge flick; Dig Two Graves is still exceptional and deserves your time. With a complex plot, spectacular cinematography, and several exceptional performances this is a must see.” The Movie Sleuth

“While its elements — small-town police corruption; supernatural powers in an Old World brood (here, Gypsies); an adolescent girl’s confrontation with a traumatic past — are familiar, it bears a haunting ambience as agreeable as it is ephemeral. Mr. Adams is clearly skilled with story structure, cinematography and his actors.” Andy Webster, The New York Times

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Dig Two Graves is not perfect—the occasional turns to the more occult-heavy material do not quite work and there are a couple of plot points that do not stand up to even modest scrutiny. However, those problems aside, this is an uncommonly smart, well-made and ultimately touching meditation on grief, revenge and the ordinary perils of adolescence that should resonate strongly with adults and thoughtful teenagers alike.” Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

“Dig Two Graves is quite a slow burn, nothing much of note happens until well over halfway through the movie. It is good then that this is a quality made film with good editing and directing to keep things at least looking nice. It also helps that most the actors are pretty good in their roles. In particular I was impressed with Isler who was believable as a sister in mourning.” The Rotting Zombie

“When we finally learn whether the goings-on here are supernatural, the explanation leaves too many prior episodes looking like a bit of a cheat. Still, if you don’t think too hard about it afterward, Dig Two Graves impresses on the whole, its general flavor closer to something like a spookier To Kill a Mockingbird than it is to Stephen King territory or most body-count-oriented contemporary horror films.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

Release:

In the US, Area 23a released Dig Two Graves in theaters and on demand on March 24, 2017. In August 2018 the movie was made available for streaming via Netflix.

Main cast:

  • Ted Levine – Jurassic World 2; Shutter Island; The Silence of the Lambs
  • Samantha Isler – Supernatural
  • Danny Goldring
  • Troy Ruptash – 30 Days of Night: Dark Days
  • Rachael Drummond
  • Dean Evans
  • Bradley Grant Smith
  • Gabriel Cain
  • Audrey Francis
  • Tom Hertenstein
  • Ryan Kitley
  • Mark Lancaster
  • Mikush Lleshdedaj
  • Bert Matias
  • Sauda Namir

Filming locations:

Marion, Illinois, USA

Official site

 

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