Review: Beneath [2007]

Dir. Dagen Merrill

Cast: Nora Zehetner, Carly Pope, Gabrielle Rose, Matthew Settle

There’s been a recent vogue for slower-paced horror, possibly in response to the success of such films as The Ring and its murderous “superghost” cousins. Done well it can show off beautiful camerawork, nuanced emotion and slowly develop unsettling scares that go beyond mere jump moments. Maybe a good parallel could be made with music – a virtuoso musician can take a difficult piece of music and make it come alive. Sadly the film lacks many important elements, the lead actress only registers one emotion for the entire movie, the film thinks that showing random flashes of the lead characters screaming at the camera will be a tension builder for when Christy decides to play 'World’s Most Boring Detective' without a good explanation as to why.

There aren’t very many explanations presented to the viwer at all, actually. Without spoiling the twist if I can help it, it requires both a lot of attention to the montages and flashbacks that attempt to fill the movie and a suspension of disbelief that stretches almost to a flat-out suspension of actual thinking. The detection story is dull and obvious from the point that it begins, the lead character's mental illness is largely unexplained and remains so throughtout the movie.

This is only compounded by the fact that every one of the actors were obviously chosen for their looks over any semblance of talent – if you told me the entire cast had just come out of a coma ward, not only would I believe you but I’d want to donate to some charity that will help them wake up and adjust to society someday.

Thankfully it’s only 81 minutes long, so if you find yourself watching it by accident someday you don’t have to watch it for very long. Beneath had the making of a decent slow-developing, sinister horror film, but ultimately ends up being hampered by a nonsensical script, wooden acting and some amateurish attempts to use editing to inject life into an otherwise stillborn creation. It’s not the worst movie you'll ever see, it's just – lifeless.

There is nothing to grab your interest or merit much attention. It might be worth a rental if you can’t find anything else to watch, but I’d recommend finding something with more substance first.

0 Response to Review: Beneath [2007]

Post a Comment