SOMETHING IN THE DIRT MOVIE REVIEW
The indie film duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have made five feature films: Resolution in 2012, The Endless in 2017, Spring from 2017, and Synchronic in 2019. And now, they’ve offered up Something in the Dirt. When neighbors John and Levi witness shocking supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some much-needed fame and fortune into their humdrum lives. Simple enough of a premise, right? Well, not exactly. Moorhead and Benson’s movies are trippy oddities. They have shared similar themes and stylistic choices, and this is no exception. Mostly, their movies are strange explorations of unsettling horror that aren’t actually horror movies, but more the idea of horror. They focus on two guys (brothers or life long friends or just meeting) and unravel lives which are woven in the inexplicable or paranormal. All of of their movies are never truly more than dialogue-heavy scenes that dig deeply into character studies rather than erupt into visual spectacles. They’re small budget indie films with very small casts and typically just Moorhead and Benson as the main crew. Their movies could be called Loveraftian in a way, but they never actually show anything terrifying, rather they present the unexplainable in wandering narratives and heady ideas that will leave you sitting in contemplation as to the nature of the stories you’ve watched and quite possibly leave you questioning your own reality. Moorhead and Benson are scrappy-doo filmmakers determined to explore utterly surreal and universal themes in very real and grounded stories. Confused? Well, that’s actually exactly on brand for these fellas. Something in the Dirt offers more of the same odd look at the world between the cracks in time and space, and just might leave you wondering just what the hell you just watched, but in a kinda cool way, not a “what a waste of time” way. Maybe. Or maybe not. Look, these dudes are frickin’ weird, okay? And Lewayne, Neil, and T.C. sit down to chat about those very feelings.
DIRECTED BY: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
STARRING: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Sarah Adina Smith, Wanjiru M. Njendu, Issa Lopez, Vinny Curran, Jeremy Harlin, Gille Klabin, C. Robert Cargill, Liam Gavin, Ariel Vida, Megan Rosati, David Lawson Jr., Lonnie Finley, Michael Felker, Stefania Cella, Rob Fee
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Neil Anderson (Screener Squad)
I first got hooked on movies when I saw Star Wars at a drive-in theater as a kid. Growing up in a small, rural town meant not having access to a lot of movies. In college, that all changed. I couldn’t get enough. I love it all — flicks, films, movies, and cinema. I still have that wide-eyed wonder of that kid watching movies from the back of a pick-up truck at the drive-in.
Lewayne White (Screener Squad)
Lewayne’s earliest memories are of watching movies and reading comics, which instilled in him a sense of wonder, a vivid imagination, and unrealistic expectations. It also means he spends a lot of time watching movies, writing scripts for them, and trying to get them made. He lives in the middle of middle America after landing there as a child, and has remained there mainly because he hates packing.
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