My Cat Persephone Wrote this Review on her Smartphone. It was better than Mine. .
I think we’re all glad that throughout this pandemic movies have taken us to a place where we can escape our current reality, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.
I’m glad you found a way to survive.
But as pioneer Amelia Earhart once said, “Maybe you shouldn’t go walking around the woods searching for random people who have gone missing unless you’re fully prepared to accept what you find” There’s no irony in that direct quote at all.
Synopsis From the Bowels of the Earth!
In The Earth opens somewhere in London or some other city in England. They’re all speaking with British accents and saying cities I’ve never heard of, so I’ll just assume we’re in London.
We’re sometime in the middle of a deadly but vague pandemic.
We meet Doctor Martin Lowery (Joel Fry). He’s walking towards what looks like a military base or hospital. There are warning signs all over the place. They recommend you wear masks. They recommend you keep your distance from each other.
Martin is expected.
He and local park ranger Alma (Ellora Torchia) are searching for a missing person or persons. It seems a local scientist and her fact finding party set off for the woods a few days ago. They have not been heard from since.
Martin knows the missing Doctor. He and Doctor Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires) have written a lot of letters back and forth, because Martin has never heard of email or texting. Martin must be one of those doctors that treat ailments with leaches and cutting off your genitals.
Martin felt compelled to try and search for her. Ranger Alma wonders if there’s some kind of romantic connection. Martin doesn’t think so, but he dropped everything to go find her.
That’s not creepy at all, Doctor Letter Writer…
Martin notices an unsettling tapestry on the wall. Alma exposits that it’s the Parnagg Fegg.
The Parnagg Fegg is the spirit of the forest. All that is benign and cruel in nature is inhabited in that spirit. As we know from Midsommar, tapestries are harmless.
Martin chalks it up to a super specific thing to say at this moment that probably won’t have anything to do with what happens later.
Martin learns it’s a two day hike to where the Dr. Wendle’s camp is located. Martin expects to ride around on motorbikes or regular bikes like those kids from Stranger Things.
Alma says they will have to hike on foot. Martin whines like a little b*tch.
Martin looks on the bright side. Since the pandemic, it’s the first time he’s been outside in months. And what better way to spend your first time outside than to look for your missing pen pal. What could go wrong?
Well, it’s starts raining. For a seasoned ranger like Alma, this is no problem. But for a whiny little p*ssy like Martin, it’s a big f*cking deal. Rain makes your clothes and hair wet.
Martin has a rash…or they look like tattoos.
Martin doesn’t like that he has to sleep outdoors. He’s not experienced in pitching a tent. Alma has to stop what she’s doing and help the little baby Martin set up a tent because he’s had such a hard day and his clothes are wet and his hair is messed up and his tent is defective.
Alma sets up Martin’s tent. And gives him a pacifier. And stencils “B*tch” on the outside.
While they’re sleeping peacefully, a bunch of unseen attackers beat them up and steal their food, water, and other supplies.
Okay, this is an actual problem.
Alma has bruises on her face.
Oh yeah, and their shoes are stolen.
They have no choice but to try to find their way to the campsite. Martin has a huge cut on his feet and is a crybaby. Alma has to carry him.
Before they lose too much hope, someone has spotted them.
His name is Zach (Reece Shearsmith) and Martin and Alma should consider themselves fortunate.
Zach provides food. Zach provides shoes. Zach provides them with shelter.
Zach has also drugged them and wrapped them both in plastic.
Zach has plans for Martin and Alma. He’s been waiting for people just like them.
Martin and Alma are terrified. They have every right to be. But they’ll soon find out that Zach isn’t the scariest thing in the forest.
Or on the earth.
Or in the earth.
Yeah, that was awkward syntax.
We all just hope Martin dies just to get him to stop moaning
What Works With In The Earth
- Reece Shearsmith steals every scene he’s in as the nut job Zach. He’s got the open face of a true believer. Is Zach a total nut job or is what he’s feeling entirely appropriate? Zach is totally unbalanced, which leaves the viewer off balanced as well.
- A funny, gory sequence with an ax featuring the character you least want to hold an ax (“That’s on you!”)
- (Possible spoiler) An ending that may leave you with more questions than answers but is never confusing. If you pay attention you are told/shown what happens. How you react to ambiguity will determine how much you like this film.
What Doesn’t Work With In The Earth
- The movie takes a half hour to finally get going. At first you think you’re watching a movie about two people walking in the woods. That’s as exciting as it reads.
After a couple of misfires (the slog that was A Field in England, High-Rise), In The Earth is writer/director Ben Wheatley’s best movie since the vicious black comedy Sightseers. Though it takes a bit to get going, the trip is worth the wait. As President John Adams once said in address to Congress, “In The Earth is pretty good.” Take it from one of our lower tier Presidents.