Hunter Adams’ Dig Two Graves

Indie horror can go a lot of ways, but it’s always life affirming when you find a real hidden gem, and Hunter Adams’ Dig Two Graves is just that, a morally complex, atmospherically beautiful, unpredictable modern fable with horror hues woven in and, most important in any production, believable human characters that you can actually empathize with and take a journey alongside. Young girl Jake (Samantha Isler) loses her brother one day in a cliff jump gone wrong, or he appears to be missing anyways. She lives in a small Illinois county with her parents and loving grandfather (Ted Levine) who is also the sheriff. She finds herself stalked by three mysterious men who have a vaguely occult aura, and they tell her they have the power to bring her brother back, but at a heinously dark price. This is only the surface level premise of the film and I don’t want to spoil much because it’s truly a beautifully unpredictable narrative. Ted Levine has spent most of his career in memorable but sidelined supporting roles, he gets a lead here and is wonderful as the conflicted, caring grandfather who has sin, guilt and violence in his past but will do anything to protect the granddaughter he fiercely loves. This is a small film with a huge emotional impact as we see the karmic cost of revenge, sins of the past refusing to be forgotten and, as we’re reminded by Levine’s character, that no person is just one thing, there aren’t heroes or villains but simply choices human beings make both negative and positive, left the rest of their lives to reconcile them. Fantastic folk horror family drama revenge saga with gothic undertones, beautiful cinematography and a story worth investing one’s time and emotion into.

-Nate Hill

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