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  Deeper You Dig, The Cover Her Face
Year: 2019
Director: John Adams, Toby Poser
Stars: John Adams, Toby Poser, Zelda Adams, Shawn Wilson, Joan Poser, Mike Childs, Izzy Figueredo, Inderpreet Singh Kanghura, Bob Lane, Milli Lupinetti, Rick Miller, Frank Wood
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ivy (Toby Poser) lives in this remote town, currently bound by snow, with her teenage daughter Echo (Zelda Adams), where she scrapes a living reading tarot cards even though she is now strictly doing it for the cash income and not because she has any piercing insight into what the cards say. She thinks she used to have the gift, but that has long gone, and she is left being a charlatan who reassures lonely widows. Meanwhile Kurt (John Adams) is a borderline alcoholic who doesn't live too far away, trying to renovate an old house to make some money himself, though it is proving a tougher proposition than he reckoned. These three people are on a collision course to tragedy - a literal collision, in the case of Kurt and Echo...

The Deeper You Dig was a little film, that was plain to see, managed on a relatively tiny budget, but there was more than one aspect that made it stand out. What got the headlines, as much as it made any headlines, was that the movie was a family affair, with all three main actors credited with writing, direction and more (including music): some families go camping to bond with each other, the Adams Family (heh) decided to get creative. Just as you get folk musicians who band together to make tunes, this item was akin to that, though while Toby and Zelda played mother and daughter, there was no great revelation that John was playing the father of Echo, this actually got more perverse than that, not to mention more violent.

What happens to the girl is that while Ivy is away doing her readings one evening, she ventured out to sledge through the night time snow and as the alcohol-fuelled Kurt was driving along a road close by, it seemed inevitable that they would crash into one another. While it was a genuine accident, the whisky couldn't have helped any, and he is aware he is in trouble if the law finds out therefore, his mind addled by drink, he picks up Echo's body, puts it in the back of his car, and tries to find somewhere to bury it. Yet the ground is frozen, so back to the old house it goes to wait for a thaw - at least that's the idea, but more horrible than that is the twist he should have taken the girl to the hospital, as she remains injured but alive. Or at least she does until Kurt panics and sees to it that she never wakes up again, thus making him our inept, but not funny, villain.

There then followed a somewhat rambling series of scenes where Kurt is haunted by the spectre, or maybe the memory, of the dead girl, as the mood grew increasingly supernatural in tone when Ivy is determined to use all the resources at her disposal to find out what happened to her daughter. We can tell she suspects Kurt of some kind of involvement but cannot prove anything, yet the builder is becoming ever more unhinged as the spirit of Echo decides to exact revenge - despite the fact she should not have been sledging in the dark across a road in the first place, so deserves part of the blame. However, her killer has forfeited all sympathy the moment he took drastic, murderous action to cover up the accident, and the Adams served up some clever and tricksy scenes and shots on their slender means that genuinely created an atmosphere of the uncanny in a rural manner, maybe none too original in that respect, but that this hung together at all was an achievement in itself. Not every horror fan was going to get along with it, but the sheer eccentricity of this endeavour, and its very funny/creepy punchline, would appeal to those seeking the unusual.

[Available on the Arrow Video Channel.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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