#SUNDANCE: “IN THE EARTH”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
As a deadly virus is loose in the world, Dr Martin Lowery (Joel Fry) and park scout Alma (Ellora Torchia) embark on a mission to reach a research hub deep in the Arboreal Forest. However, their journey is set back after an attack that leads to a spiral of wicked events.
Writer-Director Ben Wheatley is back with this pandemic-filmed Horror, thriller that will make you happy you stayed home. In The Earth is a brutal trip into the forest to examine the desire humans seek with nature.
This Film kicks into high-gear when Martin and Alma run into Zach (Reece Shearsmith), a man living illegally in the woods. At first, they believe he’s harmless, but things quickly turn sinister as they learn Zach has abandoned all science. Instead, he believes in hearing a commanding ‘power’ and completing rituals to honour it. It’s during their time with Zach that there are suspenseful, gruesome scenes involving stitching and severed toes.
Wheatley makes In The Earth a disorienting and visual feast with his use of strobe lights and piercing sound. Both thrust the audience into Martin and Alma’s unsettled positions. The entire Cast — Fry, Torchia, Shearsmith, and a delightfully complex Hayley Squires —is outstanding.
In The Earth screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: January 29 at 9 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): January 31 at 10 AM (EST)