Saturday, October 6, 2007

Beneath (2007)

Fear 1/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5
Nightmares 2/5

Despite the fact that the title is actually "MTV Presents Beneath", this turned out to be better than terrible, but slightly less than good. It's like Derek Smalls: lukewarm water.

Beneath has many of the classic (read cliched) elements of any by-the-book horror mystery. A car crash leaves one sister (Vanessa) horribly burned and disfigured while the other (Christy) walks away unscathed. Vanessa eventually dies, but not before Christy begins seeing nightmarish images and hearing sounds that she can't explain. At her sister's funeral she is convinced that Vanessa is still alive inside the coffin and creates a scene trying to get her out. This leads to 10 years of therapy and isolation in various schools and hospitals until she returns to her small town home to attend the funeral of her sister's husband's father (it's confusing).

Once back in Smallville, she begins to experience the visions and nightmares all over again, consulting her book of drawings she has kept for years where the images she has dreamt and drawn out, suddenly become scenes in her real life. This leads her to start snooping around and as the movie unfolds, we begin to understand that Vanessa's death may not have been the result of the car accident...if she even died at all (Insert exclamation points here!!).

It's not a bad movie, and the fact that it's relatively slow is forgivable given that it's only 81 minutes total. The acting is passable, if not good, and the storyline is decent, if a little confusing and convenient at times. One thing that works especially well is the special make-up effects for the Vanessa character. One of my biggest (and hopefully irrational) fears is being burned to death and the burn scars here are convincing and terribly frightening (to me at least). Her eyes, especially, freaked me out. There are a couple of scenes here that definitely had me on edge and actually afraid to look at the screen. So bravo there. And I liked the ending. So, again, not too shabby.

Otherwise, Beneath is decent teen-horror fodder for teens that like their movies a little more sophisticated than, say Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer (both fine films in their own right). And it's nice to see MTV aiming slightly higher than the crotch for once. Now, if you'll excuse me, Parental Control is on and I can't miss the end. Who is she going to pick?! not the dude with the hair thing goin' on - that guy is gah-ross.

- Complaint Dept

No comments: