Spoilers might linger after death.
DIY film projects, if it ever comes to fruition, is not something you’d like to watch, less alone share with anybody else. Nobody gets a hit trying it out on their own. Well, these directors who happen to be the writers and the actors of their own product might be the anomaly that proves there’s always an exception. It’s impossible to watch this movie and wonder how exactly all pieces managed to fit into place. It’s unfair to call it a mere achievement. It’s a triumph for underground cinema.
The Deeper You Dig is a film by the trio of John Adams, Toby Poser and Zelda Adams. They’re a family, literally – husband, wife and teenage daughter Zelda playing the characters, writing the story and directing the heck out of it. It’s not their first outing. They’ve had some other projects but that’s beside the point. They often mention beneath the titles that it is “An Adams Family Film”, and they’re right.
Ivy (Toby Poser) is a single mom living with her teenage daughter Echo (Zelda Adams) in a small mountain town. It’s winter and Echo likes to go sledding, but Ivy has a small business reading tarot cards and asks her to stay in. Kurt (John Adams) is their neighbor down the road, who’s trying to gut a house, renovate it and flip it for profit. One night, he’s coming home drunk and loses sight of the road for a mere second.
What happens next is a mother looking for her missing child, whom she already believes dead and finding she will have to resort to the dark arts she’s lost faith in. Meanwhile, a murderer hiding in plain sight finds himself haunted by the presence of the deceased teenager who urges him to confess. They are both being drawn to a place of darkness where one seeks to contact the dead and the other keeps trying to suppress it. The acting sometimes betray its DIY roots, specially with the supporting cast.
Recommended specially for filmmakers and fans of underground cinema. The acting is not always superb but the main cast makes it work. The cinematography is solid and the storytelling stays in grounded territory until it has to go into uncharted territory, which I think it manages to still convey the plot rather well. It’s definitely a proud accomplishment that speaks volumes about its filmmakers. If this is what they can do by themselves, there’s probably bigger plans along the way.
That will do for now.