In Los Angeles, Levi (Justin Benson) moves into a new home within an apartment building. We learn that Levi has very little when it comes to personal belongings due to a mysterious past and his attempt at a fresh start. Soon he meets John (Aaron Moorhead), who lives in the same apartment complex, and the two strike up a conversation, leading to a new friendship. John even offers to help Levi with some spare furniture to fill up his apartment.
While life for Levi now seems more promising, something odd is about to occur that will change everything. In Levi’s apartment, the two men witness something supernatural. A piece of large glass begins to float in mid-air, making a faint humming sound. From this unexplainable event, Levi and John decide to start filming a homemade documentary with hopes of one day cashing it in and fully understanding what is going on. Is it a strange occurrence due to aliens, ghosts or perhaps something else? As the two study the unknown, they become increasingly suspicious of one another, including questioning their mysterious pasts.
Something in the Dirt is best described as a comedy and a sci-fi film. Depending on the viewer, given that several strange things occur throughout in poltergeist style, there is a horror aspect that lingers around. Most viewers will find themselves going from one clue to the next with John and Levi as they make multiple discoveries. We share their experiences, discuss conspiracies, and try everything to find the truth with them. But I can’t deny it; I found it impossible to understand this entire film from start to finish. The more strange occurrences were shown, the more curious I became, hoping to find answers before the credits rolled. Some answers were given, and some, like investigating a UFO sighting, may make me mad as I attempt to understand this film.
Visually, there is a fun level of creativity here. For example, whenever Levi and John explain a back story or reveal something from their past, the visuals cut to images, old clippings, found footage and even fun graphics and effects. This is something that feels fresh, and the concept kept the film engaging throughout. Levi and John’s stories wouldn’t be as exciting or interesting without these clever visual moments. The effects surrounding the strange things around the apartment are pleasing and deliver multiple creative moments, which, again, is stunning to see.
Even if all the details on the screen don’t resonate or make sense, there’s still a fun sense of entertainment. Firstly, the two leading characters, Levi and John, are fun to watch. Their back-and-forth dialogue and the general plot is fun and quirky. I found it almost impossible not to chuckle at some of the most random conversations the two share, varying from talking over something deep and meaningful to them sharing a moment of frustration ad feeling annoyed with each other. Despite being dialogue-heavy, this is thankfully a strength of the film, given the excellent chemistry between the two leading performers.
The atmosphere of the film is great. When strange things occur, they are uncomfortable and unnatural, and my curiosity grew. Some moments are also unexplainable, such as why Levi’s apartment is consistently overheating or he has dripping water from his roof. Another aspect is the documentary style, in which various interviews greet us. It is a nice treat, but naturally, it only raises more questions and mystery. With everything combined, there is a stunning ride to witness.
Overall, delivering solid vibes of both comedy and sci-fi and even a touch of horror, Something in the Dirt provides entertainment that will keep viewers guessing and curious throughout. The chemistry on-screen and performances from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (who also served as Directors) is a significant highlight, as is their believable and snappy dialogue. Their conversations will either have viewers chuckling at some of the random conversations or baffled by some of the mysterious elements. As for the plot, while I found everything creative and engaging right from the start, not everything is clear, and not everything will make sense. As for the ending, I can’t deny that I found it lacked a solid conclusion, and I wished for something slightly more satisfying. Instead, I felt like I had just witnessed something strange and baffling and was left all alone to make my mind up about the experiences this film delivered. Something in the Dirt is Available in Australian Cinemas from December 1st.