The Deeper You Dig appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a fairly positive presentation.
Sharpness usually worked well. Softness affected some wider shots, and a few nighttime elements shot with natural light lacked great definition, but the majority of the flick brought nice clarity and accuracy.
No issues with moiré effects emerged, but some ropiness emerged via a few jaggies. Edge haloes stayed absent, and I saw no source defects.
Colors went for a chilly blue most of the time, and they looked fine within those choices. Though the hues lacked much vivacity, they achieved their goals.
Blacks were fairly deep and dense, while shadows mostly appeared smooth outside of those “found light” elements. Ultimately, the image mainly worked fine.
Dig comes with a PCM Stereo soundtrack, a fact that initially made me go “buh”? A circa 2019 movie without a multichannel mix seems quaint, to say the least, and the absence of a 5.1 track surprised me.
That said, I know Dig enjoyed a small budget, and I probably prefer that the filmmakers went “small” with the audio. Better to keep things two-channel rather than attempt a bad 5.1 mix.
All of this means one should expect a decidedly unambitious soundtrack from Dig. Indeed, even though classified as “stereo”, the mix leaned monaural much of the time.
Oh, the audio broadened moderately at times, as the sides offered thunder and general ambience when appropriate. Music also spread moderately to the left and right channels.
Still, the soundfield really did remain restrained, and the center speaker dominated. Honestly, the track may as well have been mono since the stereo image had so little to do.
At least quality seemed fine. Speech felt natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Given that Dig brought a subdued movie, effects lacked much to do, but they felt accurately reproduced. Music also seemed acceptably full, even though the score appeared low-key as well. Ultimately, I thought this was a passable track and no more, partly because it’s so primitive compared to what we expect from movies circa 2020.
As we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from writers/directors/actors John Adams and Toby Poser. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, cast and performances, story and characters, and related domains.
Though inconsistent, the commentary offers enough content to make it worth a listen. We get too much dead air and some less than informative notes, but the final package works decently and merits a listen.
At Home with the Adams Family offers a 49-minute, 48-second chat with Adams, Poser and actor Zelda Adams. They discuss their prior filmmaking efforts and how they developed their own “production company” as well as what led them to horror, how their home environment impacts their choices, and a mix of other topics connected to their work.
John, Toby and Zelda answer questions from viewers, so expect a pretty wide array of domains. They prove engaging and honest, and that means we get a good collection of notes.
With It’s in the Blood, we find a “visual essay” that runs 26 minutes, 21 seconds. Critic Anton Bitel talks about themes and meaning found in the film as well as elsewhere in the horror genre and aspects of the Adams other movies. Bitel offers a mix of generally interesting thoughts, though “Blood” often feels like little more than a catalog of Adams films.
Special Effects Breakdown fills 12 minutes, 24 seconds, and includes commentary from special visual and makeup effects artist Trey Lindsay. We see some of the movie scenes that use his work and hear aspects of their creation. Lindsay gives us a decent array of remarks, though I’d prefer if we got a before/after view of the material rather than just the final shots.
From 2019, a FrightFest TV Interview goes for eight minutes, 10 seconds. It features Poser, John Adams and Zelda Adams as they chat about the movie and its creation. This becomes a fairly fluffy piece without much new content.
From a band called “Hellbender”, two music videos follow: “Black Sky” and “Falling in Love”. “Hellbender” acts as a musical venue for the Adams clan, and one assumes they shot the videos as well. Both the songs and the videos seem amateurish and pretty bad.
In addition to the film’s trailer, Disc One ends with an Image Gallery. It shows a whopping seven stills. What’s the point?
On Disc Two, the major attraction comes from The Hatred, a 2018 film that runs 59 minutes, 58 seconds. Set in Blackfoot Territory circa 1869, an orphaned girl (Zelda Adams) uses mystical measures to resurrect a dead soldier (John Law) to help her get vengeance on those who killed her family.
Law also wrote and directed Hatred, and I went into the film with the assumption Law was John Adams under a pseudonym. Given that daughter Zelda stars and her sister Lulu plays a role as well, it didn’t seem like a stretch to believe we’d get another Adams family affair.
It’s not, though one could see similarities between Hatred and Dig in terms of style and aspirations. Both lack much real plot or development, and they cling to active pretensions.
Hatred fares worse in that regard. Rather than give characters names, it bills them by attributes like “Hatred”, “Vengeance” and “Righteousness”.
If that’s not bad enough, most of the film comes told in portentous, semi-literary dialogue by Zelda Adams. This lends the movie a self-importance that it can’t balance with quality movie-making.
Given the cast of amateur actors, it seems like no surprise that the performances lack depth or polish. Granted, the thin script leaves them without much room to blossom, but still, their turns feel flat and wooden.
Hatred does look good, as it boasts impressive cinematography in the wintry, barren surroundings. Also, at less than an hour, it doesn’t totally wear out its welcome.
But it comes close, and we wind up with a sluggish 59:58 of film here. The movie and its creators simply take themselves way too seriously for this to become anything other than a pretentious mess.
Disc Two also includes three music videos from “Kid Kalifornia”. These include “Psycho Static Lover”, “Fix” and “The One”.
As with “Hellbender”, this “band” seems to consist of various Adams family members. The heavily 90s-influenced songs and the videos are cheesy and embarrassing – and I love the 90s!
As an entry in the “psychological horror” genre, The Deeper You Dig presents a potentially intriguing story. Unfortunately, it comes with so little development or drama that it makes no dent on the viewer. The Blu-ray brings fairly good picture along with mediocre audio and a fairly broad roster of bonus materials. Dig shows promise that it doesn’t fulfill.