Ben Wheatley’s Pandemic-Era Indie Horror Film Is About…a Pandemic

Ben Wheatley’s Pandemic-Era Indie Horror Film Is About…a Pandemic
A man wielding an axe in Neon's In the Earth. (Photo: NEON)

Though most of Hollywood ground to a halt during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, High Rise director Ben Wheatley was apparently out in the wild finishing up In the Earth, his new film whose story is quite obviously meant to be a reflection of the current state of the world.

As the Hollywood Reporter notes, Neon’s In the Earth tells the story of a scientific researcher and a park scout who team for a relatively normal journey into a dense forest in order to retrieve important pieces of equipment. The pair’s trip into the forest proves to be more dangerous than they anticipated, not just because the world at large is combating and trying to find the cure for a deadly virus, but the forest itself is teeming with all manners of life that don’t take kindly to the human interlopers.

Neon’s yet to release any more specifics about In the Earth other than its cast, which includes Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires, and Reece Shearsmith. Whether In the Earth’s messages about the horrors of living through a pandemic will land with audiences is sure to be the question on everyone’s minds as we get closer to the film’s projected, but unspecified premiere date some time in 2021. Hopefully by then, the real world pandemic will be under control enough for moviegoers to even consider venturing to the theatres to see a film.

The busy Wheatley, whose take on Rebecca is now streaming on Netflix, just added The Meg 2 to a list of future projects that also includes Tomb Raider 2 and zombie series Generation Z.