In the Earth (2021)
December 11, 2021 2:05 PM - Subscribe

As a deadly virus ravages the world, Dr. Martin Lowery embarks on a mission to reach test site ATU327A, a research hub deep in the Arboreal Forest. The arduous journey, guided by park scout Alma, is set back by a nighttime attack that leaves the two bruised and shoeless. When they run into Zach, a man living off the grid, they gratefully accept his help. Zach's intentions aren't exactly what they seem, however, and a path out of the forest and into safety quickly fades as the line between myth and science blurs. A new film by Ben Wheatley.

Currently streaming in the US on Hulu.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is a top notch example of a film that fills every scene with dread. It just weighs on you the entire time. Even wide shots of the wilderness are unsettling because of the tone. The lingering views of nature's granduer here are like a bizarro version of Malick's.

I feel like Ben Wheatley's origin story involves being force fed mushrooms as a kid and absolutely hated them so now he makes unsettling movies involving human/fungi interaction.
posted by M Edward at 3:31 PM on December 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

This was pretty amazing. English folk horror, by way of mad scientist horror, by way of eco-terror, with psychedelic horror, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:23 PM on December 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have been thinking on this one for 24 hours. Really well done. It seems like it's one of those movies where a filmmaker took all of the stuff on his mind and connected it into one film. But it works! Wow, it works.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:14 PM on December 12, 2021

Yeah. I’m not sure how much happened here, or how it ended really, but I have thought about this movie a bunch since I watched it, which is one of my signs of a movie I liked a lot.
posted by triage_lazarus at 4:36 PM on December 12, 2021

just watched based on this thread. the psychedelic effects are pretty in-yer-face. nothing like the wicked and subtle *enchantment* of midsomer. but, i was entertained and curious until the end. to me, an ambiguous ending. but I'm ok with that. a super fun ride. great performances all around. the zach character was over the top psycho - coulda been directed that way i guess. a bipoc lead and costar, nice. Jacobs Ladder + Contagion + Blair Witch + Altered States (i got old fast. ancient refs) thanks for the thread! B-
posted by j_curiouser at 5:15 PM on December 12, 2021

I really wanted to like this one as I'm a big fan of Ben Wheatley, but I actually found Gaia to be the superior mushroom-freakout movie of 2021.
posted by whir at 4:50 PM on December 14, 2021

Zach's demise, with the stake, the halfway point, and then--without shame or irony, insisting he be taken to the hospital, before being finished off was laugh out loud funny. A real tension breaker. I also laughed a lot at Martin's extreme British politeness during the amputation scene. "I-I-I-I would really rather you didn't do that!"

Evolution of Horror's podcast ep on this is great, featuring not just really well-informed top shelf horror nerd discussion, but a great Q& A with Ben Wheatley, to boot.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:18 PM on December 15, 2021

I’m a huge Ben Wheatley fan — Kill List is one of the few pictures I’ve watched on successive nights — and this left me absolutely cold. I liked Reece Shearsmith's performance, but this is the first picture of Wheatley's I’ve seen where I couldn’t find a single other thing to like.
posted by holborne at 2:45 PM on December 27, 2021

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