Beneath the Darkness is not a good movie, it is tedious, near impossible to get through and just tiring.
The film was an independent semi-horror suspense thriller that is never horrific (not even semi) suspenseful or thrilling. The story is trite, plodding and the characters are never really likable. Except for the villain; who is the only saving grace for this film. Dennis Quaid is fun to watch, channeling crazy like only his brother has in the past, but even he is not enough to carry what is little more than a made for TV movie, and had it been released to TV first, it might have gotten more of a pass.
As is, this tired effort is just boring.
In a word: Boring.
(from here, there be spoilers!)
The story revolves around Travis, a high school loner and three of his friends: Abby, Brian and Danny; who, after seeing what they believe is a ghost in the window of the local mortician’s home. The teens, minus Travis who was on look-out break-in to said home and discover that Ely has been keeping a dead body in his bedroom.
The teens are then caught be Ely, who manages to get ahold of Danny as the others make it outside the home. When Travis confronts Ely, Ely throws Danny down the stairs and stomps on his head, leading to Danny death. Ely then reports the “accident” and the local police believe Ely’s version of events over the teens.
This is as far as I can recount, as beyond this point I fell asleep. I presume it had something to do with bringing Ely to justice. At least that is what Wikipedia implies.
This Movie is boring, really boring. It’s not the worst movie that I have seen this year but it makes one of the worst mistakes that a movie can make. I fell asleep each of the four times I attempted to watch it on Neflix.
And, I’m not talking about falling sleep and waking up a few minutes later and just missing a chunk of the movie, I seriously was down for the count. I started watching this one early one Saturday and was woken up just in time for dinner. Now, I like spending a good chunk of Saturday sleeping, but that was a whole day lost after a full night’s sleep.
I’m actually glad that I didn’t try to see this in a theater.
The Story – 2.33
Bruce Wilkinson, the writer has no other credits on imdb. There is not much else to say.
The concept and story for this film are tired, overplayed and the dialogue is lacking. There is nothing new in this film, nothing to draw you in. I think that making this a generic thriller and focusing on the teens was a bad idea, because even after all that Ely Vaughn is a fun character watch under the right actor. Maybe that is what the script needed; a better cast.
Acting – 3.20
Ely Vaughn is played by Dennis Quaid and is possible the only bright spot of this fiasco, as Quaid is genuinely fun to watch when he is on screen.
Travis is played by Tony Oller, who you might know if you’re a teenager and watch the Disney Channel or TeenNick, which I don’t.
The rest of the cast is likewise unknown to anyone born before Clinton was president.
Production – 4.25
Martin Guigui, I haven’t seen any of his other credits, which appear to be dramas and comedies. This does show in the visuals, as Guigui does not seem comfortable with the darker tone of a suspense-thriller. The Cinematography is spotty at best, moving from under saturated to too dark. It’s a wonder that people are able to see anything. The sound mixing fairs a little better, as there the dialogue is mostly easy to hear and the background music does attempt to ramp up the tension, but the short comings of the story hinder that. The editing is a bright spot, there are few fast cuts from the portion of the film I stayed awake through, and the staircase scene does hide the transition from actor to stunt double pretty well.
The Good, the Bad, the Very Bad and the Weird. – -1.43
Dennis Quaid – This is another Crazy Quaid performance, one that is similar to the Performance Art Project that his brother has completely emersed himself in for the last decade. Quaid is the only actor that seems to be having any sorta fun with his part.
I fell asleep, more than once – This is not the worst thing a movie can do, but honestly a movie should not put the audience to sleep.
The concept is overdone – There are a hundred better movie with this concept. Go watch After.life, that has a similar concept and Christina Ricci and Liam Neeson are much better actors.
Disposable Teens – I know that this is just a nitpick, because all movies like this are full of disposable teens, but in 2012 they should really try to do something different with the characters.
Miss-interpreted A Tale Tell Heart – This is not a big problem, but as a fan of Poe, and how very out of place the discussion is in the movie. None of the disposable teens have any idea what the short story is about and it’s grating. The sound of the beating heart is the Narrator’s Conscience.
The Very Bad…
Tony Oller’s Travis, Cliché – The Main character is the Deep Loner, and by Crom that shit got old in the Fifties.
Boring – This is the worst sin a movie can make. As bad as the Room and Birdemic were, they weren’t boring.
…and the Weird.
E-cigarette – This just seems so odd in the context of the movie. Why does Dennis Quaid smoke an e-cigarette throughout the film. At first I thought that he was chewing on a fat pen, but then smoke started coming out and I had to stop the movie to get a better look. He smokes it everywhere, including when he’s preparing a body for a funeral. I have no experience with e-cigarettes so I have no idea if they have an odor, but I suspect they do and the deceased’s family does not want the body to smell, at least not like a cigarette.
Beneath the Darkness is a snooze-fest, avoid at all cost, unless you are a fan of Dennis Quaid and have to see all his movies. I would recommend After.Life or Pandorum as better alternatives to this tedious, boring film.
2 / 10
To clarify the rating system, a chart!
|Recommendation||out of 10||Alpha||Metascore|
|See three times, buy the Blu-Ray day one!||10||A+||100|
|See in the Theater more than once.||9||A||90.00 – 99.99|
|See in the Theater.||8||B+||80.00 – 89.99|
|See at a Discount Theater.||7||B||70.00 – 79.99|
|Video on Demand, buy the Blu-Ray||6||C+||60.00 – 69.99|
|Red Box||5||C||50.00 – 59.99|
|Netflix||4||D+||40.00 – 49.99|
|Premium Cable||3||D||30.00 – 39.99|
|Basic Cable||2||F||20.00 – 29.99|
|Don’t watch.||1||FF||10.00 – 19.99|
|Run Away||0||FFF||00.00 – 09.99|
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