Guilt often comes back to haunt us after regrettable actions. This sentiment manifests itself in a very real way in John Adams and Toby Poser’s American gothic ghost story The Deeper You Dig. Taking place in a small mountain town, we first meet the Allen’s, Ivy (Toby Poser) and Echo (Zelda Adams). Echo is an incredibly smart 14-year-old, and her mother is the town psychic/tarot reader. Echo wants to go sledding at the outset of the film, but Ivy says she can’t because she has to see a client. Because Echo is a teenager, she goes sledding anyway. On this same evening, the Allen’s neighbor, Kurt (John Adams) was getting drunk and eating dinner at the local bar. He arguably shouldn’t have driven home in his condition, but he did it anyway. Right as he was about to get home, he hits Echo with his truck. Instead of calling the police, he picks her up and takes her to his house.
Ivy knows almost immediately that something isn’t right. When the next day arrives, she goes to the police to report that Echo is missing. Meanwhile, Kurt is dealing with the choices that he made in regards to her and not well. It doesn’t help that Ivy shows up at his house and that he keeps seeing Echo even though she’s not necessarily with him anymore. Ivy becomes more determined and desperate to figure out what’s going on with Echo, so she returns to the roots of her spiritual practice. It’s a rocky process psychologically, especially since she received a disconcerting message from another realm.
“He arguably shouldn’t have driven home in his condition, but he did it anyway.”
The Deeper You Dig is one of the more fascinating explorations of psychic activity and hauntings that I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s quiet without being boring and exciting enough without being too ridiculous. It also has some extremely gorgeous cinematography courtesy of John and Zelda Adams. The fact that the film is a family affair makes it all the more impressive. The whole cast and crew consist of less than twenty people. It must have been a real labor love for them, and it shows in every aspect of the filmmaking. I would highly recommend watching this if you like films about ghosts and psychic phenomena. Or if you like to see karmic retribution in action. It’s an extremely satisfying and beautiful tale of the love between a mother and daughter and how that bond can’t be broken under any circumstances, and how honesty is always the best policy, especially when it’s a life or death situation.
The Deeper You Dig (2019) Written and Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser. Starring Toby Poser, John Adams, Zelda Adams, Mike Childs. The Deeper You Dig premiered at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival
8 out of 10 stars
"…“The fact that the film is a family affair makes it all the more impressive.”"