The Grave

Director: Jonas Pate
Screenwriters: Josh Pate, Jonas Pate

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Jonas Pate, in his directorial debut, helms this suspense thriller about a sick and twisted search for hidden treasure. King (Craig Sheffer) and Tyn (Josh Charles) bust out of jail in search of a legendary cache of riches, said to be hidden in the grave of a long-dead, eccentric old millionaire. Complications arise after the breakout, and, when they are forced to rely on some greedy, double-crossing “friends”—Boo (the always welcome Max Perlich), Travis (Anthony Michael Hall) and Cletus (Donal Logue)—they realize it‘s going to take more than an old riddle and a rusty shovel to unearth the secret of the grave.

Complimenting this sorry entourage of backcountry stoners are the beautiful, but manipulative, Jordan (Gabrielle Anwar) and the cruel, single-minded prison warden, J.G. Cole (John Diehl), who overhears the jailbirds and formulates plans of his own to uncover the treasure. The race is on to solve the riddle and find the loot, and soon the heady mix of shady characters and bad intentions becomes as intoxicating as the smell of formaldehyde fumes in a sealed coffin.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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