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Benson & Moorhead Return to Indie Sci-Fi with 'Something in the Dirt'

By James Field | Film | October 18, 2022 |

By James Field | Film | October 18, 2022 |


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Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s The Endless is without a doubt one of the best, most inventive sci-fi films released in the last 5 years and a personal favorite. This follow-up to their first feature, Resolution, is a sequel of sorts, but functions fine as a standalone story of 2 brothers who venture back to the cult from which they once escaped, to find closure in their lives. What follows is a trippy exploration of sibling relationships and time manipulation that I won’t spoil. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on Amazon’s Freevee, or otherwise track it down. It’s worth it. They followed it up with time travel in Synchronic, not quite as good but with the added benefit of Anthony Mackie in the starring role. It scored them writing and directing work on Moon Knight, where they were responsible for some of the trippier aspects. That got them directing duties on the upcoming second season of Loki. The guys are good and people see it, is what I’m saying.

But Benson and Moorhead’s best work really is low-budget sci-fi, and their latest, Something in the Dirt, was well received at Sundance and Fantastic Fest earlier this year and is finally making its way to theaters. Levi (Benson) has just moved into an apartment in the Hollywood Hills, where he meets John (Moorhead). Shortly after, they find something terrifying, and possibly life-changing. The trailer is spoiler-free, for once, though eagle-eyed viewers might catch a few subtle clues that point to a connection with their previous work.

I love these guys’ approach to cosmic horror and sci-fi. Like the best parts of Jordan Peele’s Nope, they recognize the value of mystery. Not every terror can be explained away, nor should they be. This sounds less heavy on scares than their previous efforts, but at this point, I’ll give any of their work a try. Something in the Dirt arrives in limited theaters on November 4. And watch The Endless before then; you deserve it.