In honor of all the minor inconveniences I’ve suffered from nature the past week (out of heat, out of power, cable and internet out, septic not working, storage room flooding), I’m giving nature her due. This is Nature Gone Wild! week. Nature’s Grave is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Nature’s Grave (2008) – NR – Not rated. The theatrical version was rated R for language, some disturbing violent images, and brief sexual material.
“In an effort to revive their stale marriage, Peter (Jim Caviezel) and Marcia (Claudia Karvan) go camping on a remote Australian beach. But the couple’s littering and other acts of environmental disrespect lead Mother Nature to strike back in this unconventional thriller. Soon, the animals begin terrorizing them, and their marital-mending vacation turns into a horrific life-or-death battle with the natural world around them.”
While other characters briefly appear in the film, this is essentially a two character movie. Peter and Marcia don’t so much have a stale marriage as mentioned by Netflix as they need a ton of counseling. They seem to hate each other in almost every scene.
Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan do a wonderful job of conveying a broken marriage. They show an almost casual insensitivity to each other’s feelings while being engrossed in a love/hate relationship. Peter comes off as unlikable whereas Marcia just seems terribly unhappy.
Peter vacillates between wanting to take care of and make up with Marcia and wanting to make her pay. His petty cruelties are somewhat amusing but it makes it nearly impossible for us to care about what happens to him.
Their casual insensitivity to each other is matched by Peter’s insensitivity to his surroundings. He tosses a lit cigarette out the window which catches some leaves on fire. He finishes a beer, tosses the bottle into the ocean and then takes some potshots at it with a rifle. Marcia isn’t so much insensitive to nature as unappreciative of it (although she does love her bug killer).
The gradual escalation of violence in their relationship with each other and with nature is quite absorbing. The cinematography is very well handled.
I have no idea why the American release has the dumbed down title of Nature’s Grave. Everywhere else it is known as The Long Weekend. It is almost a scene by scene remake of The Long Weekend (1978).
Netflix presents this movie in HD and the higher quality video really shows off some wonderful nature shots. the beach is gorgeous, the woods are gorgeous, the surf is gorgeous, the wildlife is gorgeous, etc.
This is an enjoyable thriller if somewhat unpleasant because of the characters. I give it a Watch recommendation.
People Watch: Writer Everett De Roche, in addition to writing the original and the remake, also wrote many classic Ozploitation movies such as Razorback, Roadgames, and Patrick.