Every small town has its dark underbelly secrets. This seems to be one of the unsettling messages we are meant to take away from "Rebecca's Grave: Vexation of a Township", a documentary exploring an urban legend passed down through generations in Moncton, New Brunswick. When documentary maker Garett Pringle decided to dig up the truth behind this tale that he had heard as a child, his investigation does not necessarily lead to any earth shattering revelations. It does, however, take us through some pretty creepy real-life locales and horrifying true crime stories of New Brunswick, eventually leaving us to ponder the validity of our own ghost stories.
This movie seems to have garnered a reputation as the “real-life Blair Witch Project”, which is not entirely true, but not that far off either. However, it is when the present day film goes out on location to explore the backwoods of Rebecca's Grave that goosebumps begin and pulses start pounding. While the searches are performed more for the sake of the audience than for the sake of the investigation, there’s no way to fake the foreboding atmosphere of these places.
It is a genuine creepy ride because there are as many naysayers as there are proven stories. However, the films demeanor is one of genuine curiosity and is careful not to sensationalize anything. On the other hand, it is not too quick to shoot down wild theories either. Like any good ghost story, Rebecca's Grave does a good job of feeding your fear and allowing your imagination to run wild.
In the end, there are still real life murders, a real court case and a compelling legend behind it all that is worth exploring. If you want a straight-laced documentary that sticks only to the facts of the genre. If you’re willing to let yourself be played a bit for the sake of these expose films. Then the movie is extremely well-executed despite the alarming truths of actual events.
Although the direct connection between the legend of Rebecca's Grave and missing journalist Morgan Wallace is never really established, it hardly seems to matter. The movie shows us that sometimes grim reality is just as terrifying as fiction, and that urban legends are not always as fake as they seem.
Rebecca's Grave will begin running its limited theater release premiering on October 24th in the very origin of this true legend in Moncton, New Brunswick at the Capitol Theater. Tickets are now on sale at www.capitol.nb.ca.