“Beneath” – Claustrophobes beware.
Written by: Patrick Doody and Chris Valenziano
Directed by: Ben Ketai
Starring: Jeff Fahey, Kelly Noonan, Brent Briscoe, Joey Kern and Eric Etebari
I saw the trailer for beneath a couple of weeks ago, and immediately decided I had to watch it. Why? Because, I find horror films that use a terrifying real life situation and a claustrophobic atmosphere to create the scares to be the most interesting. Throw in some ghost-like apparitions and mass hysteria, and you’ve got the makings of a truly scary movie.
For the most part, I was not let down. The situation is indeed terrifying. A group of coal miners are trapped 600 feet under ground with little oxygen, after a freak accident. Some of them are injured or sick, and the race against time begins. I was already feeling a bit uneasy (which I loved). Slowly but surely, each member of the crew start to see and hear things. Things that make them panic and react irrationally and even violently.
The cast all do a solid job. I was especially impressed with Kelly Noonan as Samantha, the daughter of George (Fahey) one of the lead miners. She did an excellent job balancing her character’s fear with her desire to be as tough or tougher than the rough men around her. Her character, unlike the stereotypical “Damsel in distress”, comes off as intelligent and strong willed.
The real praise from this reviewer goes to the effects and cinematography crews along with the set designers and wardrobe. All of these things melded perfectly to create an awesomely horrific atmosphere. In every scene, it literally feels like these people are trapped deep underground. In the capable hands of director Ben Ketai, the film provides a successful blend of excitement and suspense.
My only issue with “Beneath” is that they used the same “Trick” every time one of the crew sees what they believe to be an evil presence. By the end I was kind of sick of thinking “It’s right behind you and is about to scream”. I get it though, and it was a small complaint when compared to how much I enjoyed everything else.
All in all, I really enjoyed “Beneath”. I would recommend it to fans of atmosphere driven horror/ suspense movies like “The Descent” or “Session 9”. Go check it out.