Ben Wheatley is back with another strange trip to the dark side. The Kill List filmmaker’s latest is In the Earth, a movie he managed to make mostly in secret during the pandemic, because he’s a sly one, that Ben Wheatley. And now, this new movie is headed to Sundance. The first In the Earth teaser promises all sorts of ominous goings-on, and the film’s subject matter is bound to make some people uneasy – because it deals with a deadly virus. Watch the In the Earth teaser below.
In the Earth Teaser
The new trip from Ben Wheatley, IN THE EARTH, is creeping #Sundance 2021 pic.twitter.com/5DShZFrHV4
— NEON (@neonrated) December 15, 2020
Soon after the release of Ben Wheatley’s Netflix remake of Rebecca, Neon announced that the filmmaker already had another film on the way – In the Earth. The film was billed as Wheatley’s “return to his genre roots akin to his groundbreaking Kill List,” and that was enough to get us excited. Now, we have our first look at the film, and sure enough, it hints at something dark and foreboding. There’s not a whole lot of footage, but what’s there is abstract and haunting. There’s also a little piece of folk art that evokes both Wheatley’s A Field in England and the more recent Midsommar.
So just what is this all about? A virus, of course:
As a disastrous virus grips the planet, a scientist and a park scout venture deep into the forest for a routine equipment run. Through the night, their journey becomes a terrifying voyage through the heart of darkness as the forest comes to life around them.
A virus movie right now, when we’re still in the midst of our own pandemic, is going to give some people pause, and that’s understandable. But as a filmmaker, Wheatley is too interesting to ignore. I don’t love all of Wheatley’s films, but I’m never bored by them (except maybe Rebecca, which was oddly inert and kind of forgettable). As burned out on all-things-virus-related as I may be, to have this filmmaker return to the type of horror he created in Kill List is an opportunity too great to pass up.
In the Earth is set to have its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 28 through February 3, 2021, and will be mostly held online (due to, you guessed it, a disastrous virus). The cast for In the Earth includes Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires, Reece Shearsmith. Neon will be distributing the film sometime later in 2021.
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