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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Woodland Horror

In the Earth (2021) on IMDb

Plot Overview

shoe squishes bug After four months of quarantine during a pandemic, an out-of-shape scientist Martin Lowery (Joel Fry) meets his park ranger guide Alma Sari (Ellora Torchia) at Gantalow Lodge in Great Britain. They're off on a two-day excursion into the woods to check on the progress of Martin's fellow scientist Dr. Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires) with whom he's had a quasi relation­ship. At night they are accosted in their tents by an unknown assailant who steals their boots. The next day they're met by a lanky denizen-of-the-forest Zach (Reece Shear­smith) who escorts them to his grand home­made shelter where he replaces them. Where did he get his shoes, hmm?

Nostradamus pictureIt's easier to move bodies through the forest when they are ambulatory, but once drugged they can be bound and dragged around camp for his mad experiments that involve slicing and dicing—and eventual disposal with the others. Zach is trying to connect with an ancient necromancer/alchemist who fled persecution to meld with a large rock in the woods. He's not having much luck. Pity.

mushroomsThey escape somehow to Dr. Wendle's camp over in the next valley. She's found her­self a 17th century grimoire and has upgraded its spells involving tom toms and torches to giant speakers and strobe lights. She's like a character in an Andrew Pyper novel who: “stood on the line that marked the end of primitive sorcery and the beginning of modern science” (57). She has not bound her guests, but the enchanted forest has surrounded them with a (temporary?) impene­trable mist of mushroom spores and water drop­lets. We're not sure where she's going with her research, but witch­craft oft involves human sacrifice, and what are colleagues for?



Harvard doctoral student Valentina Lagomarsino has written that “the structure of nerve cells that comprise the human brain [bears a] strong resem­blance to trees, … that trees have their own sort of nervous system that is capable of facilitating tree communication, memory and learning, … that trees living in forests, [form a] tree colony called Pando, … [and] that trees are indeed communicating with each other and sharing nutrients through their roots, forming a complex system, the mycorrhizal net­work, some­times referred to as the ‘wood wide web’. … There are so many more discoveries to be made to under­stand the ancient wisdom of our forests.” The ancients in our movie called this Pando by the name Parnag and made it anthropomorphic.

Dr. Wendle and her buddy Zach have succumbed to a pseudo-religion masquerading as science, which for one J.B. Mozley, D.D. in his sermon on Temptation warns us if, “this sudden insight … may not after all be a temptation and incitement on the part of a false religion” (25). As such Wendle might merely be one more pawn in, (Eph. 2:2) “the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” and Zach caught up in, (Prov. 14:12) “a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Production Values

” (2021) was written and directed by Ben Wheatley. It stars Joel Fry, Reece Shearsmith, and Hayley Squires. The two adventurers look like they've been numbed by the pandemic or some­thing. They engage in no repartee on the trail, but at least the birds were singing. The two mad scientists were suitably touched.

MPAA rated it R for strong violent content, grisly images, and language. Good call. The beautiful cinema­tog­raphy captured what nature might look like to some­one on LSD, what with intricate visual patterns and stunning sound effects. One might not actually want to watch this movie when tripping, and there is a warning for epileptics. The production overall was passable though borderline amateurish; one can almost sense the camera placements. It was released around Arbor Day in the USA.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

I'm comfortable around nature to begin with so I could take this travesty in stride, but many city folk don't like to be surrounded by trees in the wild, and this movie won't make them feel any different. Other than that it's a workable horror flick that covers new ground. The cast is about evenly split between men and women and the plot between science and nature. There's minority representation in the ranger.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Good for a late night horror experience. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Lagomarsino, Valentina. Exploring The Underground Network of Trees – The Nervous System of the Forest. Tree illustration by Hannah Zucker. This work by SITNBoston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Web.

Mozley D.D., J.B. Sermons Parochial and Occasional. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1880. Print.

Pyper, Andrew. The Only Child. Copyright © 2017 by Andrew Pyper Enterprises, Inc. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. First hardcover edition.