In the Earth Parent Guide
Graphic violence, witchcraft, and madness - saying this isn't family friendly is an understatement.
Parent Movie Review
Scientist Martin Lowery (Joel Fry) has been hoping to get some research done on improving crops in the UK, but the outbreak of a catastrophic virus has prevented him from accessing the forest he wants to study. With approvals in hand and medical screening completed, he’s eager to get going in spite of local legends about an evil presence in the woods. With Alma (Ellora Torchia) as his guide, Martin soon finds himself deep in the forest. It doesn’t take long before they run into trouble, and as things go from bad to worse, the expedition becomes less about research and more about survival in an environment which has become decidedly nightmarish.
Before I wade into this movie’s problems, I’m going to try and start with the positives. First, the cinematography is really interesting. Director Ben Wheatley has used nice long takes which allow the actors room to really perform, and which also highlight the natural beauty of the shooting location. The film also has fairly naturalistic dialogue, which is a pleasant surprise in a surreal horror flick.
There are, however, big, big clouds to accompany those silver linings. The interesting cinematography uses a lot of flashing and strobing images, which makes this a poor choice for people who are sensitive to visual stimuli. And the dialogue, which does sound real most of the time, comes with the caveat that natural human conversation can be fairly dull. Now, this isn’t the case all the time, but too many scenes drag while people chat.
The biggest issue casual viewers are going to have is with the grotesque, graphic violence. This is a messy horror movie, and unless you’re already an adult fan of the genre, you’re probably not going to go hog wild for a movie which includes scenes like a man having his toes amputated with a hatchet and cauterized with a piece of iron and a blowtorch, or a man being stabbed through the eye with a tent-peg…and then trying to pull it out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
But if none of that puts you off your lunch, and you reckon you’re able to handle some more, then this movie might just be for you. If you’re looking for a slow, gruesome trek into witchcraft, madness, and the perils of living alone, In the Earth certainly provides. The only question here is whether you have the patience and the stomach for it. I think I did…but I’m about to try to cook dinner, and the sausages I’m using are already making me think of toes. Maybe I’m in trouble after all.Directed by Ben Wheatley. Starring Joel Fry, Reece Shearsmith, and Hayley Squires. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release April 30, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
In the Earth
Rating & Content Info
Why is In the Earth rated R? In the Earth is rated R by the MPAA for strong violent content, grisly images, and language.
Violence: On several occasions, people are severely beaten or struck with blunt objects. Other gruesome imagery include severe lacerations, graphic depictions of stitches, amputation, and cauterization, as well as an individual being impaled through the eye.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 11 sexual expletives and seven scatological terms, along with occasional mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An individual is briefly shown smoking tobacco. Several characters are unwittingly drugged and exposed to naturally occurring hallucinogens.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
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Wandering around in the woods is a provably bad idea in horror movies, as indicated by films like Red Dot, Gretel and Hansel, and The Blair Witch Project. Fans of this style of horror may also enjoy Ari Aster’s films, Hereditary and Midsommar, or Robert Eggers’ films, The Witch and The Lighthouse. Director Ben Wheatley also directed the recent adaptation of Rebecca.