The Deeper You Dig – USA, 2019 – reviews

‘Love won’t stay buried’

The Deeper You Dig is a 2019 American supernatural horror indie feature film about murder and the unearthly bond between a mother and her dead daughter. It was written, photographed, produced and directed by John Adams, Toby Poser, and their daughter, Zelda Adams. The trio also stars in the Wonder Wheel Productions movie. John Adams and Tobu Poser composed the soundtrack score.


Ivy (Toby Poser) and Echo (Zelda Adams) are not your typical mother-daughter team.

Ivy, once an intuitive psychic, makes an easy buck as a bogus tarot card reader; fourteen-year-old Echo likes old-timey music, hunting, and black lipstick.

When reclusive Kurt (John Adams) moves down the road to restore an abandoned farmhouse, a roadside 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.

However, 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…

The Deeper You Dig had its world premiere at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal in July. The festival guide states: “The intimacy of the production is felt in the immediacy of the performances and the depth of ideas. This journey into the underworld crawls under your skin and draws you into your deepest, darkest nightmares.”

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …a strange mix of demonic possession, psychological drama and revenge thriller. You can tell it has been lovingly and painstakingly made. It’s extremely clever and consistently inventive. The Deeper You Dig is a riveting and incredibly intelligent indie horror.” Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

“The filmmakers are limited but not ignorant – this is no wrongheaded, audacious bit of outsider art. And with the quality on display, The Deeper You Dig’s questionable elements end up feeling more thrilling than mere demerits, lending the film fun originality.” Evan Saathoff, Birth. Movies. Death.

“With so many glossy horror films trickling out of Hollywood, this small, unique movie manages to hit home in a way that I did not expect. While it will not be for everyone, and the budget at times does limit the potential, Deeper You Dig is a captivating indie film that deserves your attention.” Brendan Frye, CG magazine

“It works well enough as a ghost story, even if its plot is not much, the performances are merely adequate and its execution is far from perfect. But what comes through with much delight is the passion the family had for their film and how ambitious it was despite such a scant budget.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“In addition to the great relationship dynamic is the great parallel storytelling. As you witness the relationship between Ivy and Echo, you also witness Kurt settling into this new town. The movie maintains this approach to the story for the majority of the 92-minute runtime, but it never loses you.” Zena Dixon, Dread Central

“There’s not a great deal of plot here and the performances, whilst perfectly competent, don’t carry as much weight as they would need to for the film to achieve all its ambitions. Nevertheless, it’s a brooding, atmospheric piece of work that points up unforeseen and perhaps unforeseeable consequences to having that one last drink.” Jeannie Kermode, Eye for Film

The script has all of the ghostly haunting/semi-possession beats but never follows through. The movie continues at barely a simmer and never really builds into what it obviously wants to […] That said, it’s an admirable attempt…” Terry, Gayly Dreadful

“Thanks to the impeccable atmosphere, the mostly-silent scenes of Kurt trying to put the accident behind him while he restores an old household instils a wonderfully palpable sense of dread even before the paranormal elements begin to reveal themselves […] The Deeper You Dig is a great example of how much can be accomplished with very simple tools.” Thomas O’Connor, Goomba Stomp

“Set in chilly Pennsylvania woods, this has a stark look, and its emotional knots are tightened by obvious economic desperation […] It has a certain ricketiness which undercuts the suspense situations but makes for unpredictable, unusually affecting forest magic.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“It’s super slick for such a DIY production, making the most of what it has—off-kilter premise, isolated setting, inherent strangeness—and takes less obvious paths available when you don’t have a ton of external oversight. And even if it’s a bit insubstantial in some regards, this is cool, haunting horror with a unique spin and approach.” Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See

“Its initial simplicity is overshadowed by some heavy-handed scenes to outline Ivy’s connections with the outer realms. It really slows the movie down right as you begin to enjoy Kurt’s torment. As a character-driven storyline showing the power of paternal love, it’s a success.” Vanessa Stewart, Mother of Movies

” …identities blur and their lines re-echo through the veil between reality and fantasy. As the conventional rôles of family – mother, father, child – are redistributed and reintegrated in unexpected ways, the results are moody and melancholic, but also, the deeper you are willing to dig, the more unsettlingly transgressive.” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures

“I had a lot of fun with this story, and the way it was all done didn’t take away from my enjoyment but rather improved it, adding a personal touch to what was happening on screen and a feeling, as a viewer, of wanting to like it. I did like it. I thought it was a cool horror flick with some nice dramatic elements that pushed it into more emotional territory.” Chris Cummings, Nerdly

” …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 feels overdue, before abruptly going a little overboard with climactic gore and action […] has an offbeat atmosphere and integrity all its own — something that can’t be said for the vast majority of horror movies…” Dennis Harvey, Variety

The Deeper You Dig builds to a fittingly violent climax and a final scene that will be a nice twist for most viewers. More seasoned viewers, however, may figure it out at the last second […] The Deeper You Dig is a satisfying low key slice of indie horror.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

  • John Adams … Kurt
  • Toby Poser … Ivy
  • Zelda Adams … Echo

Technical details:

92 minutes

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One Comment on “The Deeper You Dig – USA, 2019 – reviews”

  1. I am so excited for this movie to come out! The Adams Family movies are always incredible with new stories that have never been told. The anticipation is real!

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