In the Earth is essentially two films. The first half is a solid "psycho stalker" horror film that features some great cringe moments and genuine thrills. The second half is an artsy attempt to showcase man's arrogance at trying to understand nature, and it completely ruins the movie. There's been this surge of artistic horror films in the past few years, and every filmmaker wants to make a Hereditary or a Lighthouse. But it's not gonna happen, and longtime horror fans are just going to keep ending up disappointed.
The film was made entirely during the Covid pandemic, and the film reflects a world where a virus ravaged society. But it's never thoroughly explored in a meaningful way. It's just used as background conversation towards the beginning. We follow Martin (Fry), a scientist who is escorted deep into the woods by park ranger Alma (Torchia). They end up captured and assaulted by Zach (Shearsmith), a psychotic nature nut who plans to sacrifice them to a nature god. When they escape, they are rescued by Dr. Wendle (Squires), a scientist trying to communicate with nature. Also, she's crazy too, and working with Zach to sacrifice to nature itself. It's all very confusing and pointless, and the ending is just a series of rapid-fire hallucinations.
There is serious potential here. This film, along with Host and others, will set a precedent of films that incorporate the Covid pandemic into their story. Like it or not, it is now a part of human history. In the Earth ignores a potentially intriguing Covid-inspired horror show in favor of yet another ego-driven artsy horror film that leaves the audience wanting more.