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In the Earth | 2021 | R | – 0.8.5

content-ratingsWhy is “In the Earth” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong violent content, grisly images, and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many scenes of violence including chopping off toes and stitching gaping bloody wounds, a corpse with intestines visible, attacks with an axe and bow and arrow, kidnapping, scenes of ritualistic activity, discussion of folklore and sacrificing to a spirit, and at least 10 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


As a virus rages among the world’s population, a scientist (Joel Fry) and a park ranger (Ellora Torchia) embark on a trek deep into a forest to make contact with another scientist (Hayley Squires). Local lore about a spirit of the Earth begins to convince them all that something beyond their control is happening. Also with Reece Shearsmith, John Hollingworth and Mark Monero. Directed by Ben Wheatley. [Running Time: 1:40]

In the Earth SEX/NUDITY 0

 – A man undresses an unconscious man and an unconscious woman and we see him pulling clothing off and dressing them in different clothing (no nudity is shown). It is implied that a man and woman had a relationship earlier in their lives.

In the Earth VIOLENCE/GORE 8

 – A man unwraps a bloody bandage from another man’s foot and we see some goo stick to the cloth as the man explains that his foot is infected and that he should amputate a few toes; the man places the other man’s foot on a block and strikes it with an axe a few times before cutting off two toes (he accidentally only cuts half the toes with the first strike, and hits the man’s foot a second time to cut the remainder of the two toes) as the man screams and moans in pain (we see a lot of blood and the severed toes and the remaining stump). A woman with a knife lunges toward another woman and they fight; one woman is knocked unconscious and lies on the ground and the other woman stabs a man in the eye with a tent stake (we see the stake in the very bloody eye and he tries to pull it out), and then punches him in the eye driving the stake deeper into his brain and we see his foot twitch briefly before he’s still.
 A man trips on a body in a thick forest while running away from another man and we see the intestines of the body exposed and the face of the corpse seems bloody and bruised. A man stitches a deep wound on another man’s foot (we see the very bloody wound as the needle and thread pass through the flesh and the injured man winces and moans). While walking barefoot through a thick forest a man steps on something sharp and cuts his foot (we see a deep, very bloody gash) and he uses a tree branch as a crutch to continue walking. A man pokes a man’s arm with a sharp knife and we see a lot of blood pour from the wound; we see the wound later and the man tells the injured man that he is “marking him.” A woman unwraps a man’s foot and says that wounds need to be cauterized; the man bites on a towel, the woman heats a metal implement with a torch and presses it against his foot (we hear it sizzle as he moans and falls out of his chair). A woman opens a stitched spot on a man’s arm (blood pours from the wound and we see the flaps of flesh) and she pulls out a metal charm from under the skin.
 A man and a woman sleeping in tents in a thick forest are attacked by someone wielding a heavy mallet and they scream as we hear the blows; we see them the next day with bloody wounds, their tents destroyed and their shoes have been stolen. A man is zapped in the head by something and falls to the ground unconscious. A woman cuts herself free from bindings that tie her to a chair, she frees a man from his bindings and hides from the man that tied them up; when he find her she squirts him with a chemical, and hits him with a heavy object (we see a deep and bloody gash on his forehead). A man hits a woman in the head with a heavy implement and she falls off-screen. A man and a woman collapse out of their chairs after having been drugged and the woman tries to pull herself away until another man grabs her and drags her behind a plastic curtain where he later drags the drugged man also. A woman puts on a hazmat suit and air filtration equipment and walks into a dense fog; she seems to be overcome by something that causes hallucinations when she touches flowering plants that emit spores and she is pulled back out of the fog by a rope around her waist while she cries uncontrollably about something she saw.
 Warning signs are posted outside a lodge as a man approaches and enters a disinfection point; the man is sprayed with a disinfecting spray, outside, and his blood is drawn (we see the needle poke his flesh and blood drawn into a collection syringe) inside the facility as a man talks about the lodge having been in lockdown because of a deadly virus. A man ties another man and woman to chairs and we see them in a thick forest covered with tarps. A man dresses a man and woman in ceremonial garb, poses them with items that seem to be idols and photographs them while they are unconscious after having been drugged by the same man.
 A man with an axe chases another man and a woman swinging the axe at them, and he then chases the woman while shooting a bow and arrows at her (neither is struck). A man holds a knife to another man’s throat. A woman attacks another woman as she holds a knife to a man’s throat (the second woman seems to be hallucinating and we see flashes of scenes of violence that have occurred already). We see that a man has scars on his abdomen and neck. A man says that a man and a woman attacked him and we see a bloody bandage wrapped around his arm.
 A man and woman see another man standing in the distance in a forest; the man approaches them and they talk, they accompany the man to his camp. A man and a woman find an abandoned tent and items that imply that a family had been there; a book with a drawing of a witch on the cover is found and the woman seems spooked by what might have happened to the people. Eerie music plays with opening credits as we see a heavy mallet slamming down on a rock breaking it into fragments and one of them is placed in the ground and partially covered with grass. A blaring warning calls out over loudspeakers in a forest for people to leave immediately; deafening sounds resound through the area causing people to fall to their knees and hold their ears, as bright strobe light flash. Stones on a forest floor blow out puffs of steam that fill the area with a thick fog. A man and woman find a structure of twigs and leaves that is shaped like a person in the forest. A woman stops walking and becomes nervous saying that someone is watching them and we notice that there are no animal sounds coming from the forest.
 A man and a woman talk about another man’s likely plan to kill them; they plan to free themselves and get away. A man says that a few people living in a nearby village died from a virus. A woman says that people in the area believe in a “spirit of the woods” and says that a few kids went missing in the ’70s. A woman tells a man that their trek will take 3 days on foot. A man describes a forest as a “hostile environment.” A woman talks about a family that ventured into a thick forest and they got sick (and presumably they died). A man talks about someone sending him so many people. We understand that a man’s elderly parents died. A woman talks about folklore that describes a story from the 1600s and refers to the “hammer of the witches.” A man and a woman talk about an underground system that trees use to communicate.
 While walking through a thick forest a man breathes heavily and says that he has not done any exercise for several months while in isolation; he coughs and sneezes and seems unwell a couple of times. A man drinks a concoction that a woman prepares from ground mushrooms and she calls it a sacrament. A man holds a collection cup and asks where the bathroom is (presumably for a urine sample; we do not see anything else). A man talks about having had ringworm and we see a few rash-like circles on his arm that he scratches in a few scenes. A woman wearing a hazmat suit gives a man a nasal swab before taking him to a camp. Mucus runs down a woman’s lip when she cries uncontrollably.

In the Earth LANGUAGE 5

 – About 10 F-words, 7 scatological terms, name-calling (nasty, the thing in the woods, desperate, selfish, necromancer, disgusting), exclamations (ooo, boo-hoo, oh goodness, ow), 13 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Oh God, Jesus Christ, Oh My God). | profanity glossary |

In the Earth SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man pours a beverage for another man and a woman and we understand that it has been drugged (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A woman smokes cigarettes in a few scenes, and a man smokes a cigarette in one scene. A man applies a salve to a spot on his arm where he has ringworm.

In the Earth DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Ecosystems, mycorrhizal networks, mythology, viruses, folktales, superstition, trust, rituals, lies, deception, idolatry, obsession, alchemy, consequences.

In the Earth MESSAGE

 – Isolation can make people imagine all sorts of things.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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