Every year at FrightFest there’s a film I rave about, that I get evangelical about, that I breathlessly run up to people and grab them and shake them and tell them “You HAVE to see this film!”

Last year it was Issa López’s heartbreaking, wonderful Tigers Are Not Afraid which left me a blubbering mess. The year before it was probably Natasha Kermani’s Imitation Girl. The year before that it was probably Rod Blackhurst’s Here Alone or Gregg Bishop’s Siren (but that was in Hammersmith and feels so long ago…). Much as I love the likes of Upgrade or Mayhem, Train To Busan or Crawl or whatever Rob Zombie has put his wife’s arse in that year, it’s almost always the little films that get under my skin, the ones made with care and love, desperation and invention, the ones that you just might never see again, that were it not for FrightFest giving them a platform, you might never have seen at all. This year there’s been two; Emma Tammi’s feminist Folk Horror Western The Wind and the Adams Family Film The Deeper You Dig.

When teenage Goth Echo (Zelda Adams) is accidentally run over by her neighbour Kurt (John Adams) one night as he’s driving home a little drunk, he panics and tries to hide her body, first in the house he’s renovating then in a shallow grave in the woods. But Echo just won’t stay buried, haunting the increasingly guilt-ridden John, demanding he tell her mother what he did even as she worms her way inside his head and he starts to lose his grip on reality. Meanwhile Echo’s driven mother Ivy (Toby Poser), a fake psychic who makes a living fleecing their wintry hometown’s needy widows, takes drastic action to find her daughter’s killer, invoking occult forces she cannot hope to control…

It’s a simple, familiar story that doesn’t necessarily play out the way you expect but what really sets The Deeper You Dig apart are the filmmakers themselves, the Adams Family – mum Toby, dad John, daughter Zelda – who not only star in this brilliant, no-budget gem but fulfil every major role, sharing the writing, directing, shooting and editing of the film between them to create a stunning, genuinely creepy, visually inventive little film that deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.

A poignant, melancholic, utterly absorbing study of grief, guilt and the lengths we’ll go to for love, The Deeper You Dig is proof that the family that plays together slays together. I can’t wait to see what the enormously talented Adams Family do next!

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: The Deeper You Dig
5.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author