UNEARTH is a horror-drama with the tagline “a fracking horror story”. It’s a slow-burner setting the stage for the first half. However, by the final third act, you will get all the horror you can handle. Screened at Fantasia. Read our Unearth review here!

UNEARTH is a horror-drama that starts out as a very classic drama but ends up with pure horror. Blood, gore, and a fight for survival that is simply brutal.

Dubbed a “fracking horror story” this actually explains it perfectly. First, we see the everyday struggles of farmers in rural America. Struggling with everything from climate change to huge competitors that drive down prices and drive small business owners out of business. It might be slow-burn but it is never boring!

Continue reading our Unearth review below. Screened at Fantasia Fest 2020.

Awesome and iconic cast

The cast of Unearth should easily draw in the horror crowd. One of the key characters is portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau who is an iconic horror actor. She’s been in classic John Carpenter movies such as The Fog (1980) and Escape from New York (1981).

In 1982, she was in both the Stephen King based horror anthology Creepshow (1982), directed by George A. Romero, and Swamp Thing by Wes Craven. Yes, I’m namedropping all the major horror directors because she has worked with all of them!

Basically, you could watch Unearth simply because you’re a fan of Adrienne Barbeau. She’s great in this movie as well and has more movies coming up soon, so we have that to look forward to.

Also in Unearth are Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brawl in Cell Block 99). In another key role, we see Allison McAtee who was in The Killing Floor (2007), which starred Marc Blucas. More recently, she was also the horror-comedy We Summon the Darkness (2019).

You might like: Our We Summons the Darkness movie review here >

The entire cast of Unearth is stellar in their performances, but I do also want to mention P.J. Marshall who was in American Horror Story and season 2 of the Netflix series Mindhunter. Just in case you find his face familiar as well.

Unearth Review Fracking Horror

Don’t miss out on Unearth

Unearth is co-directed by John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies who also edited the movie together. This is the directorial debut for Dorota Swies but she did work as an assistant director on John C. Lyons’ short film Hunting Camp from 2005.

And yes, in case you were wondering, the two are married (since 2002), so they’re a team in every sense of the word.

The screenplay was written by co-director John C. Lyons and Kelsey Goldberg. This is the first feature film screenplay for Kelsey Goldberg, who worked primarily in series previously. John C. Lyons has been writing scripts for his own movies for a while. Beginning in 2005 with the abovementioned Hunting Camp.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Unearth and for a long time, it seemed like “just” a drama. A good drama, mind you, but still, I was waiting for the horror. For the final third of the movie, I got all the horror I could ask for.

In other words, don’t worry, this horror drama most certainly can and does deliver the blood and gore you would expect.

Unearth had a world premiere at Fantasia 2020 in Canada on August 25, 2020.

Update April 2021: After a successful festival run including Fantasia and Grimmfest, Unearth premieres at Laemmle Theatres North Hollywood on April 20 ahead of its Earth Day, April 22 theatrical opening, and Digital release this Summer.


Directors: John C. Lyons, Dorota Swies
Writers: Kelsey Goldberg, John C. Lyons
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Marc Blucas, Allison McAtee, Brooke Sorenson, Rachel McKeon, Monica Wyche, P.J. Marshall


A fracking horror story, Unearth follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to an oil and gas company. In the midst of growing tension, the land is drilled, and something long dormant and terrifying, deep beneath the earth’s surface is released. “Unearth” is about the horrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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