The concept of the film “Something in the Dirt” was formulated during the pandemic, and it was also shot during the same period. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the film is categorized as a sci-fi horror, though its underlying dark humor is its strongest suit. The concept of two strangers stuck in an apartment where some supernatural phenomenon is happening, accompanied by some strong atmospherics, is no doubt an appealing pitch, but somewhere down the line, the film becomes a bit too bizarre for my liking. It was quite intriguing when the duo was putting their theories forward, but eventually, it became a slug, where you just kept revolving in an endless loop without coming to any conclusions. The most impacting aspect of the film is probably a sense of loneliness residing inside the characters, played by Benson and Moorhead, which I would have loved to explore more. They both have made their choices but still yearn for that human touch, that their lives have become deprived of. So, let’s see what this strange ride has in store for us and if there is actually a presence of aliens or interdimensional angels inside their apartment.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
It had only been a few hours since Levi Danube moved to his new apartment in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, when he saw another man (probably the only one in the neighborhood) smoking on the ground floor. Levi had run out of cigarettes, so he decided to borrow one from the stranger. The stranger named John Daniels had lived in those apartments for over a decade. He said that he was a wedding photographer, but to support his income, he taught math in a school. Levi worked as a bartender and had planned to move out of Los Angeles. John told Levi that he could take the furniture that his ex-husband had left, which he was anyway going to donate. John helped Levi move in the furniture and other stuff and the duo witnessed low-flying airplanes and smoke rising from the buildings, with a kind of casualness as if they knew that apocalypse was no longer a far-fetched possibility. A quartz crystal, which Levi was using as an ashtray, started floating in the air when John was just about to leave. Both of them didn’t realize what was happening, and they stood there frozen and awestruck. The incident left them baffled, and they couldn’t fathom what could have caused that levitation. Suddenly, it struck them that if they documented it, then they might be able to sell it to Netflix or some other OTT platform and, in return, earn a good amount of money. They started daydreaming about the kind of money they would make if the OTT giant decided to stream their documentary and the opulent lifestyle they could lead after that. They brought whatever apparatus they had and set it all up to record the anomaly on camera. The closet in Levi’s apartment was emitting light, and the duo didn’t know how it was happening or where it was coming from. With their amateurish setup, they weren’t able to record anything, and Levi was of the opinion that they needed to get more sophisticated cameras and recording devices. Levi had told John that he did some volunteering at a youth shelter, but soon the latter realized that it was a mandatory service that he did because he was on parole. John also found out that he had been convicted of some sex offenses, though Levi told him that it was all a big misunderstanding. John had all sorts of theories in his mind, and he took on the role of the main investigator while Levi played second fiddle, not because he wanted to, but because John was a wiseacre who did not have any room for a second opinion.
‘Something in the Dirt’ Ending Explained: Did John Get Any Real Evidence To Prove His Theories? Is Levi Dead Or Alive?
The duo bounced ideas off each other, and after a point of time, it felt like either they were on hallucinogens, or we entered were in a state of trance as their theories were even more weird than the anomaly happening inside the apartment. The line between reality and imagination became completely blurry. John felt like he had seen the pattern that the light made, after being reflected from the crystal, somewhere in the past. He realized that it was the same pattern that he had seen in his geometry book, which he had in his possession since childhood. There were other outlandish theories too that the duo formulated. They speculated that it might be possible that the aliens wanted to contact them. According to John, there were theories that said that aliens had planted life on earth and that they were waiting for the day when humankind became so socially evolved that they could contact them. John entertained the possibility that the extraterrestrial beings might have seen how evolved he was, and that is why they were trying to establish contact. Though John might not have been able to find evidence about the presence of aliens, it did prove that he considered himself far superior to others. The quartz deposits and the leaking ceilings made John feel that Levi’s apartment could be a gateway that led to a far-off planet. Levi found out that the cactus plant inside his apartment was astonishingly bearing a fruit that apparently had morse code hidden inside it. John figured out that the morse codes were basically coordinates of a place. Though they found nothing there, Levi saw a hoarding in which the beach looked exactly like the one where he used to go fishing. He was not ready to believe that it was merely a lucky coincidence. They also found a recording device from beneath the apartment, in a hollow cavity, with the number 1908 written on it. The same numbers were tattooed on Levi’s knuckles. Though Levi told John that it was the number of days he had spent in a mental institution during his childhood, John couldn’t negate the fact that there was some connection between the number and the uncanny happenings in the apartment.
The film “Something in the Dirt” enters a meta space when the editors of the documentary that Levi and John were filming tell us about their experiences and what they thought about the whole supernatural thing. The VFX artist, who hilariously uses an alias of Robert F, says that he has recreated some of the footage because the originals were destroyed. He had been told to maintain secrecy and pretend as if he had never been contacted by John. Every day, the magnitude of the earthquake and the number of objects levitating increased. At the end of the film, “Something in the Dirt,” we see that even John started floating in the room, while Levi, who was sitting on the balcony and enjoying a smoke, probably levitated in the night sky. John went ahead and made the documentary, and maybe he just did it pretentiously, but he did pay homage to Levi and acknowledge that he, too, was an integral part of the project. John never found the Pythagorean Brotherhood or any Greek cult society, though he was quite hopeful that one day he would prove that they or some other extra-terrestrial beings were trying to establish contact. His theory that there was radiation was also nullified, though how the weight fluctuations happened was never explained in the film. The film also doesn’t explain how the guitar notes played by Levi were being echoed mysteriously and if they were corresponding to the movement of the stars as speculated by John.
John was shown to be a compulsive liar, and a lot of times, Levi caught him in the act or eventually got to know that his stories were mostly made up. It is quite possible that the supernatural events were merely a figment of the imagination of people who probably derived great pleasure from being conspiracy theorists. According to what John says in his documentary, Levi did die, though his story seems literally implausible. Levi had been responsible for the death of his sister, who had jumped from a building, and maybe he committed suicide because he was no longer able to deal with the grief. Probably John had created an imaginary story, or maybe he was actually telling the truth. Maybe, just because John believed that all his life, he was meant to bump into something supernatural or inexplicable (which he refers to as the Jerusalem syndrome), he created all of this in his mind and gave himself a reason to believe that it all happened in reality. The film, “Something in the Dirt,” in the end, just like John and Levi’s bizarre theories, could be called an abstract mess that could be modified into whatever you want it to be.
“Something In The Dirt” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.