THE DEEPER YOU DIG
Time & Location
About The Event
Co-directors and actors Toby Poser and John Adams will be in attendance.
TRAILER--> THE DEEPER YOU DIG
TOBEY POSER INTERVIEW ABOUT FILM---> CLICK HERE
Director John Adams will be in attendance for Q&A after screening.
The Deeper You Dig is the latest from a resourceful family of filmmakers embodying the indie spirit and delivering their latest DIY ghost story focusing on overwhelming grief and the ripples it creates in our lives.
The filmmaker family is comprised of John Adams, Toby Poser, and Zelda Adams, each working in front of and behind the camera. John plays Kurt, a house flipper who drives home drunk from a bar one night and strikes a sledding Echo (Zelda) with his truck. Panicked he brings her body back to the shambled house he's trying to fix up and decides to bury her and act as though nothing happened. When Echo's fortune teller mother, Ivy (Toby) conducts her search and pays Kurt frequent visits he becomes haunted by Echo's ghost and his grip on reality begins to slip.
Many micro-budget flicks earn notoriety for a variety of reasons, such as word of mouth success stories like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. The Deeper You Dig shares the same budget constrictions, but does not have the Hollywood friendly vibe of those historical successes. The Adams family seem to have a knack for presentation and pace, but their ambitions reach further in ways that budget can't restrain. This is the type of ghost story that marketing departments simply can't sell on a wider scale, at least not without an A or even B-list cast to turn heads.
At times the lack of budget does tame the family's ambitions at least in letting the story earn its supernaturally heavy final act in a more satisfying way. Still, the Adams family come off as a confident group of filmmakers ready for a shot at something bigger than their current indie filmography.
The Deeper You Dig ultimately carves out an admirable but still shallow grave of grief and regret where the line of living and dead becomes blurred. For many, it'll be a charming introduction to a creative family just waiting for their chance to burst into the genre's forefront.
Screened as part of The Fantasia Film Festival 2019. BY LUKE ON JULY 26TH, 2019
Ivy and Echo are not your typical mother-daughter team. Ivy, once an intuitive psychic, makes an easy buck as a bogus tarot card reader; 14-year-old Echo likes old-timey music, hunting, and black lipstick. When reclusive Kurt moves down the road to restore an abandoned farmhouse, an accident leads to Echo’s murder, and suddenly three lives collide in mysterious and wicked ways. Kurt assumes he can hide his secret under the ground. But Echo burrows into his head until he can feel her in his bones. As she haunts his every move, trying to reach her mother from beyond, Ivy must dig deep to see the signs and prove that love won’t stay buried.
Below review was written by Nick Allen from RogerEbert.com
Last night at Fantasia featured something I’ve never seen before at any festival—a movie directed by a mother, a father, and their daughter. “The Deeper You Dig” is billed in the opening credits as “An Adams Family Film,” and it was indeed written, directed, shot, edited and so much more by Toby Posner, her husband John Adams, and co-directed by their daughter Zelda Adams. The background with this story makes it especially compelling, and though the movie doesn't achieve its full desired emotional impact, it is a sterling example of a flesh-and-blood DIY indie that does not play by any rules, and one that uses a storytelling sincerity to take audiences on a new path to supernatural epiphanies.
The script does better without too much detail shared in advance, but it concerns a tragedy: a young woman named Echo (Zelda Adams) is accidentally run over by Kurt (John Adams), a drunk driver—who then hides the body in a bare-bones house he’s trying to flip. Her mother Ivy (Toby Posner) struggles to mourn her 14-year-old daughter, and tries to find out where Echo is. The film’s title takes on two meanings, concerning meditations on guilt and grief: Kurt wrestles with his actions, while struggling to metaphorically and literally bury visions of Echo; Ivy takes an investigative route using tarot cards and the occult to see where Echo has disappeared to.
“The Deeper You Dig” then divides itself between these two character's lives, both presented with stubborn pacing that doesn't let us fully connect with these gray characters, so much as simply watch them. It's sometimes too distancing, even for a movie set with the cold, isolated environs of the Catskills, and lessens the impact of some of the impassioned performances, and the script’s more interesting contributions to horror films that circle around grief and guilt. But as Ivy and Kurt's lives do eventually converge in a big way, it’s by the third act that the movie becomes more than a quasi-compelling brood piece, and goes all-out with its own striking visions of horror and the horrific.
"The Deeper You Dig" creates an impressive cinematic quality with the very basic tools of filmmaking—there are some arresting usages of light and darkness, namely a lot of shots that are mostly pitch black (as during Ivy’s tarot readings, or shots from inside Kurt’s bare house) with select slivers of light. The editing becomes its most polarizing factor—some climactic scenes have a few too many extra beats, and other scenes make the whole of it dangerously slack. But throughout, the intuition within "The Deeper You Dig" proves this filmmaking family is one to keep an eye out for—the Adams' consistently make choices that do not feel to be inspired by the ideas of other movies, or even non-family members, so much as come from an increasingly evident desire to tell this wild story exactly how they want to.
Below review was written by Dennis Harvey from Variety
Expectations are generally best kept low for an enterprise like “The Deeper You Dig,” which was crafted almost entirely by the members of an upstate New York family who’ve made several under-the-radar indie features before. But this latest from marital duo Toby Poser and John Adams is neither amateurish nor self-indulgent, even if it does have other flaws. Instead, it’s a nicely economical tale of supernatural vengeance that benefits from its small scale and lived-in atmospherics. The result may be a little modest for significant commercial breakout, but is sure to win over some discerning horror fans, particularly elsewhere along the genre-fest circuit following its opening-night Fantasia slot.
Living on the outskirts of a small town (identified in the closing credits as Roscoe and Livingston Manor, two legally defined “hamlets” in New York’s Sullivan County) is Ivy Allen (Poser), who supports Goth-styled 14-year-old daughter Echo (Zelda Adams) by working as a tarot-reading fake psychic. The teen’s father is nowhere in sight, and does not appear to be missed. These women both seem a bit outsider-ish, but there’s no question they get along just fine, behaving more like best friends than mother and child.
Kurt (John Adams), a newcomer in this sparsely populated community, is another loner, who has moved into a decrepit, long-empty house down the road from the Allens’ in order to “fix it and flip it.” One blizzardy night he has maybe a couple more drinks than he ought at the local bar, then drives home. He’s carefully avoiding some deer when he hears a thunk under his truck’s rear wheels — something that turns out to be Echo, who’d gone out sledding after dark without mom to watch for passing traffic.
We know nothing of Kurt’s backstory. He doesn’t seem like a bad person, per se — but he does seem like the kind who might have past reasons to expect zero leniency for an accidental crime. Ergo he decides not to call police or ambulance, instead loading the apparently dead girl’s body in his truck and covering up all evidence. We can understand (if not approve of) his choices, even when he realizes he’s made a terrible mistake, and in a panic makes it all very much worse.
Needless to say, Ivy is distraught when she returns from seeing a client to find her daughter missing. The police shrug it off as a probable runaway scenario. They also shrug off mom’s later insistence that she just wants to know who the killer is — because the genuine psychic abilities she thought she’d lost have now returned, leaving no doubt that her daughter is no longer alive.
While she receives discreet otherworldly signs, guilt-plagued Kurt gets increasingly blunt, alarming visitations from Echo, whose cheerfully tormenting spirit is hardly at rest. As subsequent seasons pass, Ivy closes in on the erratic-acting neighbor she already suspects, with a little help from a perilous occult pact undertaken to guarantee her maternal revenge.
That last element occasions some surreal imagery, as reality, dreams, and hallucinatory visions begin to blur for the adult protagonists. But despite that, as well as Trey Lindsay’s special visual/makeup effects, “Deeper” mostly works because of its unfussy simplicity of style and content, which recalls some early-1970s indie drive-in horror favorites without being self-consciously retro about it.
Another major plus are strong performances from the directors. Their vaguely nonconformist, middle-aged characters may not be fully explicated in the screenplay, but both thesps provide the kind of interesting shading that suggests they’ve thought these roles through and then some. Real-life daughter Zelda, also effective onscreen, gets a separate credit as co-director (her sibling Lulu sat out this Adams family joint after contributing to prior ones).
“The Deeper You Dig” — a title derived from hapless Kurt’s failure to keep Echo’s corpse out of sight, let alone mind — doesn’t quite make the leap from a pleasant minor surprise to something truly memorable. It reaches a point where narrative payoff or heightening of tension feel overdue, before abruptly going a little overboard with climactic gore and action. There are also smaller missteps, like the rather pat use of an old-timey “Ain’t We Got Fun?” rendition as creepy recurrent motif. (More successfully unsettling is John Adams’ own mostly-electronic original score.)
But if its sum impact is perhaps less than one might initially hope, “The Deeper You Dig” still has an offbeat atmosphere and integrity all its own — something that can’t be said for the vast majority of horror movies with plenty of rote jump scares but scant individual personality.
Writing Credits(in alphabetical order)
Cast(in credits order)
John Adams...KurtToby Poser...IvyZelda Adams...EchoShawn Wilson...Dell Joan Poser...Mrs. Minskey Rest of cast listed alphabetically:Mike Childs...Radio Norm Daniels Izzy Figueredo...Detective Davide Inderpreet Singh Khangura...Ben Bob Lane...Detective Sanford Milli Lupinetti...Bartender Rick Miller...Bridge local Frank Wood...Radio Frankie Wood
Film Editing by
Trey Lindsay...special makeup effects artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Zelda Adams...assistant director
Visual Effects by
Camera and Electrical Department
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