You know that feeling when something is wrong and you're not sure what it is? This is an independent movie circling around the themes of grief, desperation, and searching for answers by any means necessary.
'The Deeper You Dig' is a film made by The Adams Family - a team composed of a husband, wife, and daughter. It was filmed in the Catskills so it has a bit of a local flavor for myself and the scenery is breathtaking.
When young Echo goes missing one snowy night, her single mother Ivy grows more and more desperate to uncover the truth of what happened to her. Unbeknownst to her, her one local neighbor Kurt is the one responsible. We witness in the first 10 minutes as he comes home from a bar one night during a snow storm and drunkenly runs over Echo as she's sledding by herself - going against her mother's wishes.
Her mother Ivy is a spiritual crook who does tarot readings for desperate people looking to speak with their departed loved ones. So the irony grows sweeter when the tables turn and she begins to try communicating with her daughter from a different realm. Things get trippy when she finds a way to unlock the seven circles and communicates with her through means such as the static on the radio and blood appearing on pages of a book. It's a tense mystery as we watch the mother revive her faith in the scrying abilities she's been mockingly using to earn money, while we also follow Kurt who is being haunted by Echo's ghost. She appears at random to just fuck with him by saying things like "hi, tell my mother what you've done" as he grows more desperate to rid her of his memories.
It's a slow-paced ghost story with a lot of heart and a lot of ingenuity. There's no high-volume effects or a lot of bells and whistles being used just for the sake of it, everything here is practical with a purpose. And for a low-budget independent film it does everything it needs to right.
My only real critique is that the ending is more ambiguous than the rest of the film plays itself to be, which made it end on a slightly sour note than I would have expected. But there's so much here to love and this family team shows such great promise. I look forward to seeing what else they have coming our way now that they've found distribution and fanfare for this feat.
'The Deeper You Dig' is now streaming on Shudder.
Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra