Movie Review: Grave Intentions (2021)

Another horror anthology to haunt your screens, Grave Intentions was released in 2021. The five featured tales cross genres, and focus on aspects such as the punishment for heinous crimes, the bonds between animal and human, looking for acceptance in new friends, the power parents can have over their children, and just how far some pranks can go.

+ the film’s second segment “The Disappearance of Willie Bingham” (directed by Matthew Richards) is absolutely harrowing, and has left a pit of despair in my soul since the first time I saw it some years ago. Its re-emergence here into my psyche has opened up that pit and I am once again overcome with such a sense of dread: that is the mark of good horror. Aussies may recognise Kevin Dee (Underbelly) as the titular unfortunate soul
+ “The Son, the Father” (directed by Lukas Hassel) was really good, and I’d like to see this concept fleshed out even further. This wasn’t horror in the same sense as the other shorts, but I enjoyed the atmosphere as well as a final little twist

– framing story was awkward and unnecessary, and I think actively dragged the movie down. When I first saw the opening scene of Madam Josephine (Joy Vandervort-Cobb) in the wraparound, I figured the movie was going to be terrible. I was mostly wrong, but her segments never improved
– the first sequence, “The Bridge Partner” (directed by Gabriel Olson) was slow and ambiguous, and I feel like it needed another few minutes to really make it work. I recognised actress Beth Grant (Little Miss Sunshine, Willy’s Wonderland) from previous media, but was unable to place her at the time as she plays very much against type in this short, which I did enjoy. I was left with too many questions at the end of this, which is a shame because I think it had potential
– “Violent Florence” (directed by Jaime Snyder) was unpleasant, but not in the good way. I don’t know what the point of this segment was, as it was neither scary not interesting. This was a real low point for the film, or maybe it was too deep for me and I am just an animal-loving pleb?
– the final short film, “Marian” (directed by Brian Patrick Lim) was a swing and a miss, with awkward CGI and a story that I couldn’t get into. I seem to have the opinion a lot with these anthologies that the final sequence is one of the weaker ones, and that is certainly true here

> I’m not really sure why this is a “2021 film”, since I first knew of The Disappearance of Willie Bingham some four of five years ago now, and IMDb tells me it was created in 2015. Likewise, the other segments’ production dates range from 2014 to 2017

Should you see this film: Overall, it’s hard to recommend this as a full length feature film when I could instead just direct you to find the two segments I enjoyed the most. “The Disappearance of Willie Bingham” and “The Son, the Father” are both available online elsewhere without the need to sit through the rest of the movie.

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