More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad100%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Pick of the Litter by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Peter Sobczynski

House With A Clock In Its Walls, The by Peter Sobczynski

Life Itself (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Unity of Heroes by Jay Seaver

Hanagatami by Jay Seaver

Predator, The by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Rob Gonsalves

Madeline's Madeline by Jay Seaver

Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

Soft for Digging
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"The gimmick help, but it's still lousy."
2 stars

"Soft for Digging" is a tense, compelling horror film for 45 minutes or so. And then you realize it's not going to be anything more than a very basic campfire story, and the disappointment settles in. What a waste of perfectly good atmosphere! What a waste of a good concept!

The concept is that there is almost no dialogue. The protagonist is an old man (Edmond Mercier) who lives alone in a shack in the woods. One morning while pursuing his errant cat, he witnesses a little girl's murder. The cops are unable to find any evidence, though, and the old man is not believed. He would doubt himself, except that he begins having visions of the dead girl, leading him to seek out her murderer.

To a point, the absence of dialogue is ingenious. It means the film can be, essentially, a standard horror-flick without being saddled with standard-horror-flick dialogue. (No one can say, "I'll be right back" if no one's saying ANYTHING.)

The characters do speak to each other, of course, but the camera backs away when they do, or we switch to another scene. The things that don't need to be spelled out for us, then, are not spelled out. We don't need to hear the old man explain to the cops that, well, these woods all look alike, and that's why he can't find the exact spot the murder occurred. We get that.

Writer/director JT Petty has a good thing going here, with cinematography (by Patrick McGraw) and sound (by Matthew Polis) that remind me of the original "Night of the Living Dead." The film looks much older than it is, no doubt due to the film stock not being the most expensive available -- a practical matter that winds up being a plus, as it enhances the movie's creepy feel.

The problem is in the story, which turns out to be utterly unoriginal and virtually twist-free. No matter how useful a gimmick is, a film needs to be able to stand without it. This one collapses even WITH the gimmick; without it, you'd never give it a second thought.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/18/05 16:22:07
[printer] printer-friendly format  

Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  10-Jan-2002 (NR)



Directed by
  J.T. Petty

Written by
  J.T. Petty

  Edmond Mercier
  Sarah Ingerson
  Andrew Hewitt
  Kate Petty
  Wayne Nickel
  Joshua Billings

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast