By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
My homebase has been Wisconsin the last couple years, but unlike previous homes like Peru, South Korea, and Russia, there haven’t been many movies that provoke a twinge of recognition in me.
There simply is not enough cheese-based fiction out there.
Dig Two Graves is very northern Wisconsin, coming from a filmmaker hailing from there and set in its dark woods. It begins with two 1940s cops throwing a couple of bodies in a quarry, then jumps to the 1970s, where a terrible accident occurs in the same place. A dark secret, and a black magic, connects the two.
Dig Two Graves is really, really well shot, especially considering the budget. DP Eric Maddison knows what he’s doing with the camera, and director Hunter Adams knows where it should be set up for maximum evocativeness. They work together to take great advantage of the northern Midwest setting coupled with 1970s aesthetics.
A pretty good strategy for establishing a calling card.
Ted Levine sounds like a low-rent Jeff Bridges. I like that. Troy Ruptash sounds and looks like a low-rent Peter Stormare. I also like that. The acting all around is also a cut above a typical low budget production headed straight for VOD. Levine in particular makes the most of a rare showcase role.
Plotwise, Adams and co-writer Jeremy Phillips have created a puzzle box of a plot that crosscuts between the 1940s and 1970s, in an evocative way in the end, and incorporates mystical elements that will keep you on your toes. Those invested in following its many twists and turns will be rewarded in the end.
Jake is not a girl’s name. Can’t even guess what it’s supposed to be short for (Jacqueline?), but seems like an unnecessary script flourish. Yeah, I know, it’s a dumb complaint, but it bothered me.
None of this seems helpful.
More beer-worthy is the plot, which hinges on Jake making some truly despicable choices, a deal with the Devil if you will, without a lot of apparent justification for the ease with which she does. In general, the script tends towards character choices that will move the plot along.
Dig Two Graves demonstrates the serious potential of all involved, and ends up being a pretty crackling black magic mystery of its own.
Dig Two Graves (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for the quarry
Take a Drink: for timeshifts
Take a Drink: for snakes
Take a Drink: for watches or amulets
Take a Drink: for magic tricks
Do a Shot: for clearly bad decisions