In the Earth (2020)

  • Comedy, Science Fiction + Fantasy
  • 1h 47m
  • United Kingdom

Price: $6.99 + taxes and fees

Bonus Content: Rental includes a 28-minute virtual conversation with In the Earth director and Midnight Madness favourite Ben Wheatley. Scroll down to watch.

In this pandemic-era horror/thriller from Ben Wheatley (Kill List), a trek through the woods to find a radio-silent researcher turns nightmarish.

“It’s certainly going to be one of the most unforgettable experiences of 2021.” –Brian Tallerico,

Latter-day British horror/thriller/satire wizard Ben Wheatley casts his jaundiced eye on Life in the Time of COVID with his much-anticipated new film. Shot in 15 days in late summer 2020, In the Earth channels pandemic-era anxiety in true Wheatley style: with a phantasmagoric allegory set deep in the woods while a calamitous (and fictitious) virus rages around the globe.

Fresh from isolation, a scientist (Joel Fry) is joined by a park ranger (Ellora Torchia) as he searches for his colleague (Hayley Squires), who vanished while researching connections between fungal networks, plants, trees, and crops. What they find in the forest — including a hermit (Reece Shearsmith) bearing herbal remedies — turns both psychedelic and horrific, as natural and seemingly supernatural forces close in.

In the Earth recalls (in spirit) Wheatley’s pastoral genre mashups Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England — part folktale, part crime story, all mystical nightmare. It’s also, so far, among the first COVID-era productions to take inspiration from the times and run with it, moving outward from the confines of quarantine for a more metaphorical exploration of very real, very present existential fears.

Content advisories: violence, coarse language


Ben Wheatley

Canadian Distributor

Elevation Pictures





Bonus Content

24 mins
In the Earth Q&A with Ben Wheatley

Director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire) joins Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky for a conversation about John Carpenter, the alchemical magic of cinema, and his new film In the Earth, opening on May 21 on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.