Beneath (2013/Blu-ray/Scream Factory) Review

I have always lived by the credo of "If it's a creature feature it deserves at least one watch!". Beneath is one that I heard more bad than good about before being able to view it myself. Most of the criticism was about the monster, which I will let you know how I feel further into this review. One of the most appealing things for a huge genre fan like myself was the fact that the awesome Larry Fessenden was the man in the director's chair for this film. I have always admired his acting and contributions to the world of horror. Anyways lets dig into this autopsy!

A group of friends decide to go out with a bang and have a party by a lake in celebration of them graduating High School. Along the way across the lake they decide to go for a dip before they head to their party location, but shortly after stopping things go from fun to frightening. The quickly discover that they are not alone and something is in the lake that is stalking them. They are drawn into the struggle between life and death that will challenge their friendships and their sanity as well. Who will survive this living nightmare and make it out in one piece?!
The plot for this film reminds me in ways of the tale from Creepshow 2 called "The Raft". Both of them have a group of young and pretty dumb friends who are put in a situation against a creature. Sounds pretty basic and from the outside would seem predictable. One thing that I think Beneath has is a more real sense of how these characters would really act in their situation. Without giving anything away I will say that most of these characters are bad people and very unlikable. There was one of the bunch that I thought was likable, but he still did have his flaws. I think most viewers will be turned off by the way they treat one another, but I kinda liked it and really was cheering for the creature. I also wanna add that there is a "messenger of doom" in the film played by Mark Margolis which is fantastic to just listen to him talk and see him in this film.
Like I stated at the beginning of the review that I had heard people bitch about the monster and honestly I really liked the creature. The creature was basically a huge meat eating fish that was the guardian of the lake. I heard a Native American story when I was younger about a fish monster that did the same things that the creature in this film does. They could of gotten inspiration from a similar story and then made Beneath, I will need to listen to the commentary and see if they talk about that. Anyways I really like that it was more of a monster that could be in the realm of "cryptozoology" kinda like the New Jersey Devil. Is there times it looks kinda campy, well yes there is but I wouldn't expect anything else.
I really think that Larry Fessenden did a great job of taking the classic "creature feature" and actually changing it up a bit with having the characters do some very bad things. If you are not a fan of old school creature features or mother nature strikes back type of films then you may wanna pass this one up, but if you do like those types of film then I just jump head first into this film and give it a chance. The presentation of this film is top notch as well as the audio. I believe you get both a 2.0 and 5.1 master audio which is great. Along with the presentation you get some behind the scenes featurette as well as a commentary that features the director Larry Fessenden  and Graham Reznick. Overall this was a pretty good film that does deserve respect for doing things a tad different. I give it  3.75 scalpels out of 5!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Larry Fessenden
Lead Actor/Actress: Daniel Zovatto, Bonnie Dennison, Chris Conroy, and Mark Margolis
Genre: Horror/ Creature Feature
Blu-ray Release Year: 2014
Theatrical Release Year: 2013
Time Length: 90 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Region Code: Region A
Release Company: Scream Factory
Website:  www.shoutfactory.com