July 24, 2014

VOD Review: Beneath (2014)

I give Miners a hell of a lot of credit. Those brave bastards go willingly into the depths of the Earth, every day, and face possible death every time that they do, all in the name of preserving our way of life.

Miners deserve the same praise that we laud onto those that serve in the Military, the Police Force, Fire & Rescue Services, or the Medical Field. Without Miners, we'd have less power. We'd have no salt. We'd have no minerals and ores that are used to make most of the important things that we use in our everyday lives.

Without minerals and metals, we'd be a primitive culture once again.

If it can't be grown, it has to be mined.

In this modern world, that is a terrifying thought indeed.

Even more terrifying still, is the thought of a group of Miners not only caught in a cave-in (leaving them trapped and helpless), but being stalked and killed by an unseen force while they wait for rescue. With nowhere to run.

Beneath is a movie about a bunch of Miners that get trapped underground after a cave-in, and how they all end up going bat-shit crazy as a result. Or maybe it's about a bunch of Miners that get trapped underground after a cave-in, and are set upon by a Supernatural Force that has laid dormant for years, just waiting for someone or something to feed on. Either way, a bunch of Miners are trapped, and it's pretty damn terrifying.

"Oh shit, did I leave my curling iron plugged in?"
To add to the despair of being trapped with nothing to do but wait for rescue, someone or something is killing the Miners off, one at a time. It's probably the hot chick's fault, because anyone knows that bringing a chick into the mines is bad luck or something. Don't ask us, we're not the ones with the crazy superstitions.

So that would make these spirits/creatures misogynists then?
Will rescue arrive in time? Are the Spectres of the mine real, or are they merely figments of the imagination? Did someone forget to adequately fill & protect the air tanks? Far be it from us to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that there's never enough air in these situations, is there?

Beneath is an effective Thriller that does a great job at conveying a hopeless sense of claustrophobia, while at the same time jolting the audience with an unseen menace that is killing people off. Director Ben Ketai and his writers have given us a movie that mixes physical and psychological terror fairly well, as the movie serves as one hell of an intense experience.

If closed spaces give you the jitters, then this movie will have you in fits.

I would not go in there. I would sit and wait for help. Like a coward.
The movie is not without issue though. It's a bit too ambiguous for our tastes, it felt formulaic at times, and the characters aren't especially deep or all that fleshed out either. Beneath is all about the situational Horror of being trapped underground anyhow, so the smaller issues didn't really kill the overall experience for us. They got the atmosphere perfect in this one, and that was really the main thing that they needed to get right for the movie to work.

The cast all did a fine job here too, but it was really nice to see Jeff Fahey back in a solid flick for a change. He's always been a great actor, but after the 90's he was basically relegated to a b-movie career, which never made sense to us. Here, he gives a solid performance as a Dad trying to keep his daughter safe from... whatever it is that is hunting he and his crew of miners. Nice job, Jeff.

Jeff Fahey still does the best Jeff Fahey face.
This movie falters a bit as far as its identity goes; is it a Thriller about a mining disaster, or a Horror movie about an unseen menace killing people off?

If it's a Horror movie, then the whole cave-in serves only as a plot device to get people to the dying grounds, which is a disservice to the storytelling potential of a mining disaster. If it's a Thriller about a mining disaster, then it loses a lot of its storytelling potential by adding a bunch of unnecessary stalk-and-slash elements to the proceedings.

Beneath is obviously an amalgamation of both of those things, and it was a good movie, we just wish it had been a bit more decisive on exactly what kind of movie it wanted to be.

We'd tell you to run, but you can't.
So was it ghosts, or did everyone just go crazy and start killing each other? Maybe it was just Samantha losing her mind and killing everybody else? We need answers!

Did the iPhone have something to do with it?
Lots of pick-axe violence, rock violence, and even a guy peeling off his own skin and eating it.

There's also the old "finger in the leg" scene.

Just think about how great a topless bouncy-house scene would have been...
Chicks do not belong in mines. Also, neither do men, really. It's just too dangerous and scary for anyone down there.

This is not going to end well.
If the idea of being trapped miles underground while something chases you around in the dark, hell bent on killing you, then Beneath should be right up your alley. It's a solid Horror/Thriller with a good cast, a genuinely creepy atmosphere, and some good gore gags... For $7.99, it's definitely a worthwhile VOD rental.


Beneath is available on VOD, and in Limited Theatrical Release, now.


Kelly Noonan is in this.

1 comment :

  1. Having a solid cast it was a shame that I wasn't able to tell who was who when they yelled the names. A solid background story wouldn't have hurt. I mean, pretty girl wanting to show the guys that a girl can go and do some mining? Or at least go underground and write an article about it? This is not enough meat on the bones to make me cheer for them loudly. Of course, I'm all for the Final Girl but I would like to care enough for all those men being killed.

    And a hot steamy sex scene would have added another star on the ladder.