As soon as I stumbled upon this, this morning, my first thought was “of course, they did.” Besides, you can’t make this stuff up. Then again, as has been the case for much of the last 12-14 months, you don’t have to. Yes, the first, “legit” COVID horror movie is upon us.
— NEON (@neonrated) April 10, 2021
“In the Earth,” a “hallucinatory strobe-lit horror insanity” film, as described by Yahoo News, is a “stripped-down genre affair shot during quarantine and infused with deeply rooted pandemic fears.” In other words, the real world of the COVID-obsessed left for the last year.
Perched on the razor-thin boundary between lucidity and madness, it gnaws at the nerves and bludgeons the senses until submission — to humanity’s helplessness in the face of the ancient world’s elemental power—is the only recourse.
Again, hello, lefties.
Ben Wheatley’s forest horror IN THE EARTH — not much there there, despite starting with one of the better evocations of life during a pandemic https://t.co/7Uq13jGgnq
— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) April 16, 2021
Here’s more, via Yahoo:
[“In the Earth” revolves around] Martin Lowery (Joel Fry), an unassuming researcher who arrives at a remote English facility where pandemic protocols are the order of the day.
No one explicitly identifies the disease that everyone is afraid of, but in drips and drabs, the film reveals that it’s extremely deadly and that it’s ravaged the country (and the planet), including the city where Martin’s elderly parents reside.
Ah, but the plot quickly thickens…
At this outpost, a country home retrofitted for medical purposes, Martin meets Alma (Ellora Torchia), a park ranger who’s been assigned to accompany him into the dense forest to rendezvous with his former colleague Dr. Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires), who’s carrying out unspecified tests in the middle of nowhere.
Our intrepid researcher and park ranger then embark on a two-day hike to find Olivia.
As you might imagine (you do have your popcorn in hand, right?), things quickly take a harrowing turn. First, Martin and Alma come across an abandoned tent strewn with toys, suggesting that a family has been hanging out in the “Forbidden Zone”
No doubt Oregon or Michigan.
Then, they’re viciously beaten in their own tent by an unseen assailant (my money is on Tucker Carlson). As their “adventure” continues, they meet Zach (Reece Shearsmith), a reclusive outdoorsman who offers them assistance — including shoes, since theirs were stolen by
Tucker their attacker — back at his “surprisingly sizable makeshift home, replete with its own disinfection station.”
Zach is a “sketchy hermit, but since they’re in desperate straits, and Martin is also suffering from a giant gash in his foot,” the dynamic duo accepts his assistance — which, wouldn’t you know, doesn’t turn out very well at all.
— Bloody Disgusting (@BDisgusting) April 16, 2021
“Survival can be a fate worse than death,” warns one promo. Ah, but only in Oregon, Michigan, California, New York, Washington state, Ontario, Canada — OK, never mind.
I get the point. But for an entirely different reason.
Survival can be a fate worse than death.
Brace yourself for Ben Wheatley’s IN THE EARTH, opening Friday. pic.twitter.com/jFNZBLVnzk
— NEON (@neonrated) April 13, 2021
Following an exclusive, pre-release screening of “In the Earth” at the White House, Joe Biden declared the film “the most moving documentary” he has “ever seen,” while Kamala Harris said she has no intention of visiting the southern border “today or anytime soon.”
I could write this snarky stuff all day, you know.
Incidentally, writer-director Ben Wheatley told Forbes he starting writing “In the Earth” during “lockdown,” while “[he] was trying to get my head together” and “understand what was going on.”
“I literally wrote what I wanted to watch,” he said.
Here’s to the new year!
‘Here’s Johnny!’, THE SHINING (1980)
In ‘Kubrick: The Definitive Edition,’ Jack Nicholson admits to borrowing the improvised line from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. pic.twitter.com/o2wF6eBzQa
— Cinephilia & Beyond (@LaFamiliaFilm) January 1, 2020
In other words, Ben, you went a little “Jack Nicholson” in “The Shining.”
How awesome for the rest of us that COVID presented Ben Wheatley with a perfect opportunity to make a ridiculous horror film — er — “documentary.”