Title: In the Earth
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Ellora Torchia, Joel Fry, Reece Shearsmith
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
What It Is: A scientist (Fry) and a park ranger (Torchia) must navigate the wild woods as they search for missing equipment amid a worldwide pandemic. What they discover is probably more shocking as some researchers that are in those woods seem to have found something more than they bargained for. Something that isn’t going to necessarily help ends this virus-riddled situation. Sometimes isolation affects us differently how’d it hit these found scientists? Will the scientist and park ranger get back to camp?
What We Think: Wheatley normally moves rather swimmingly through his material. Stuff like Free Fire and High-Rise has a certain movement about them. This feels utterly bogged down, slowed down, and much longer than its 107 minutes runtime. Ellora Torchia is really good and her character feels like the most important one in the film. On the other hand, it’s Joel Fry’s character who’s supposed to be that. He’s just super annoying. Visually there’s a darkness to this and it works so well at setting the tone. It’s a nicely shot film even if some of the shot selection by Wheatley leaves something to be desired. The ending is one that’s sort of out there. It doesn’t entirely work. Reece Shearsmith’s angle in the film doesn’t work and is probably the thing that holds the film back because it comes out of nowhere.
Our Grade: C, In my book Wheatley’s work is improving, at least with me. This might be the best film of his I’ve seen. Even still the film can’t get out of its own way. That’s down to Wheatley as a director. Perhaps his next one will be the one that unlocks him as a director for me. As it stands this is beautiful looking mediocrity from director Ben Wheatley.