Something In The Dirt (2022) – Film Review
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Cast: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Sarah Adina Smith
By Roger Crow
When neighbours John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realise documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives.
Their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city and each other.
That’s the premise for this head-scratcher of an indie comedy-drama-mystery from masters of the genre, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
You may have seen their work in Film4 favourite The Endless, higher profile Synchronic, or episodes of Marvel series Moon Knight and Loki.
Something In The Dirt is basically a two-hander between the two guys who get on well from the off, and each shares a fascination with the unusual. As the friendship develops, skeletons drop out of closets and they dispense theories about why part of their apartment block looks like something out of a cheap Poltergeist movie.
It’s a little like chatting to that guy at a party who has smoked too many herbal cigarettes, but is also a veteran of some A-list science/maths college, so his theories have a degree of credibility.
The whole thing ticks over like the random shots of an electricity meter, and you have no idea where things are going next. A floating quartz ash tray is just one of the assorted domestic hurdles you will overcome in this study of the bizarre in LA.
What is the meaning of the recurring symbol, or the numbers on a protagonists’ fingers? Who or what is trying to communicate with the duo?
Are the duo big followers of the KLF, whose own brand of bonkers mysticism captured the imaginations of many 30 years ago?
Well, some of those answers will be revealed in this intriguing offering from a couple of film makers who rarely cease to create fascinating projects.
A little too out there for some, maybe, but if you’re happy to go down their glorious rabbit hole of mind-expanding theories, then hold on and enjoy the ride.