In the Earth (2021)

This return to Ben Wheatley’s raw, unpredictable horror roots is a welcome venture. I will always respect Ben Wheatley for taking risks. Kill List and A Field in England are true cult classics of genre-bending inventiveness. Beyond In the Earth’s jarring psychedelic imagery, mushroom science, and alchemy vibes, its really the main theme of apophenia (seeing patterns where there are none) that casts a lasting resonance. Wheatley’s talent for mixing tone also shines through with some comedic moments that really shake up expectations. A handful of exposition-heavy monologues aside, a very well crafted film. All the more impressive for being shot during a global pandemic…
The haunting imagery of a forest hermit holding a flare as strobe-lights fragment the massive old-growth forest will be with me quite awhile.

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