Director Jared Skolnick’s “The Earth Rejects Him” is one of the most surreal horror films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s not often I can watch a movie with a baffled expression and still recommend it as a great film. Not many indie directors know how to direct child actors, and director Skolnick brings out the best in his young cast. Ellis Gage gives a very memorable performance as this young boy who finds himself in an extraordinary predicament and has no idea how to handle it without becoming homicidal.
Gage plays Ray, a young boy who accidentally falls off a cliff after a dare on a bike. Thankfully he survives without a scratch, but while scrambling to get up the cliff again, he finds a human skull. While marveling at it, he chips off a tooth and tucks it away by impulse as his friends call the police to report the remains. When Ray buries the tooth to give it something of a ceremonious burial, the tooth transforms in to something the young boy was never quite prepared for. “The Earth Rejects Him” just becomes so much more bizarre once the tooth is buried, and director Skolnick offers a very unusual look at a young boy who decides to accept this situation and use it to his benefit.
But once his accident takes a turn for the worse, he’s never quite sure if he desires the results after all. Skolnick’s “The Earth Rejects Him” is such a unique and creepy horror short and one that gives audiences a chance to interpret its meanings rather than splash the screen with gore and grue, and I appreciated it for that. Director Jared Skolnick assuredly has a compelling short horror oddity on his hands, with an original premise, a bizarre concept, and a story open to interpretation that will invoke many a conversations among viewers.