Tuesday, October 19

On Earth Review – Ben Wheatley’s Trippy Hidden Horror Is A Nice Return To Form | Films


HThere’s a low-budget, low-key movie that runs through the undergrowth to a horrible epiphany of popular horror, complete with walking dead comedy and a babbling mushroom melt, percussively hammered with flashes of strobe light and very loud pops. At one point, a fog surrounds us, which one frowning scientist describes as a “suspension of fungal spores and water droplets in the air.” It was one of those rare moments in the movies where you are glad to have a mask.

This is a return to home territory for its writer and director Ben Wheatley, perhaps reminiscent of his 2013 seventeenth-century freakout A Field in England, which was about civil war deserters captured by an alchemist and finding the world. upside down. And it is true that there are some familiar tropes: forests where cell phone signals are impossible, a local myth depicted in ancient woodcuts. But for me, In the Earth is a return to form, after Wheatley’s interesting but basically dicey foray last year into the romantic period drama for Netflix with a remake of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier with Armie Hammer and Lily. James. In the Earth takes us back to Wheatley’s classic world of hidden and wacky and cult sordid weirdness from British film, with a new topical dimension of pandemic paranoia, and what keeps you staring is his unreadable and nearly undetectable thread. black comedy.

Now I admit that it is often a bit of a heartbreaking combination, ostensible comedy and horror are occasionally alibi for each other’s absence. But it is sold by the two subtly excellent lead performances by Joel Fry and Ellora Torchia, who interpret it with utter frankness. Fry in particular (perhaps even better known for his fashion brand advisor Karl Marx on the TV sitcom W1A) never gives the audience anything close to a wink to indicate that we shouldn’t be taking him seriously, but he does show us the surreal absurdity. shown below. the surface of your character. This is especially true when on no less than three separate occasions, something absolutely horrible is done to your foot, and you remain firm and stoic at all times.

Fry plays Martin Lowery, a soil scientist we first see approaching a scientific research station on the outskirts of a rather innocuous-looking English forest. Like everyone else, his life and work have been disrupted by a recent pandemic, but now he wants to resume his vocation and travel to the center of this inaccessible forest to examine the soil, which is of remarkable fertility and so crucial for food. the population. Work on this project has already been started by Dr. Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires), with whom Martin has apparently been in a relationship, and there are more jokes in the way that Fry keeps telling people that the end of this adventure It is a private matter that he does not want to discuss. He has to be accompanied through the woods by an Alma (Torchia) guide, and things seem reasonably quiet until they both run into someone who lives in the woods without official permission: Zach, a bearded and somewhat arrogant man played by Reece. Shearsmith – The casting that indicates something disturbing is on the way.

From here on, Martin realizes that any soil “research” out there is in fact a far more irrational activity than he had been led to expect, and that what is in progress is a communion with nature. It will not lead to any peer-reviewed publication. We are heading towards a kind of transcendent apocalypse in which the structure of the narrative collapses, revealing a strange and enigmatic series of images. Wheatley gladly plunges us into his rusty tank of oddities, and Fry and Torchia handle this ordeal with impeccable seriousness.


www.theguardian.com

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