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Beneath The Darkness (2012)



Average Rating: 2.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 10

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 1,525

My Rating

Movie Info

In Beneath the Darkness, Ely Vaughn (Quaid) is a pillar of the community in tiny Smithville, Texas. The town's mortician, Ely has been revered since his days as the high school's star quarterback. But since the tragic death of his wife two years earlier, Ely has withdrawn from his neighbors, while local teens spread stories of supernatural goings on at Ely's mansion-which is also the funeral home. When high school friends Travis (Oller), Abby (Teegarden), Brian (Lunsford) and Danny (Werkheiser)


Mystery & Suspense

Bruce Wilkinson

Feb 28, 2012

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January 6, 2012:
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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (21) | DVD (1)

A bore sprinkled with hints of hilarity, soon to be buried like so many of its characters.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You anticipate every scene before it happens and figure out every secret before it's revealed.

January 10, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
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Dennis Quaid goes Psycho in dull Texas-set thriller.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter | Comment (1)
Hollywood Reporter
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At times it seems the simple ineptitude of "Beneath the Darkness" surely must mask some undercurrent of deeper sophistication and intention on behalf of the filmmakers. Alas, as it turns out, such things never surface.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Even Dennis Quaid's uncharacteristic hamming as a mad mortician in a small Texas town can't save this silly, scare-free horror film...

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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The screenplay gets nothing out of the claustrophobic terror of being locked up in that narrow grave, and the "mystery" is obvious from the start.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a pervasively underwhelming thriller that wears out its welcome almost immediately.

March 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

There's nothing in Beneath the Darkness you haven't seen before, better, and recently.

February 28, 2012 Full Review Source: FEARnet

While certainly a low-budget flick which relies heavily on suspense over almost everything - meaning, there's a lot of cat and mouse stalking around or/and talking about how spooky Ely is - Beneath the Darkness doesn't necessary sink or succeed.

February 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

A compilation of contrivances and absurdities that is right off the teen-horror assembly line.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

Dennis Quaid is fun to watch as a psychotic, but he leaves the screenplay behind.

January 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

The best way to consider this wayward mess is as an unintentional genre spoof.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

When it comes to creepy old buildings, overly attentive owners, and prying outsiders, Beneath the Darkness has nada on Don Coscarelli's epic Phantasm saga or, for that matter, Norman Bates' clear-eyed if psychotic shenanigans.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

This mediocre movie should have bypassed theaters and gone straight to Netflix.

January 5, 2012 Full Review Source: amNewYork

Bruce Wilkinson, the film's late writer and executive producer, is more than likely turning in his own grave.

January 5, 2012 Full Review Source:

Overly expository dialogue abounds, as do questionable filmmaking choices and plenty of stupidly unconvincing actions taken on the part of the film's characters.

January 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Beneath The Darkness

This attempts to do for "Psycho" what "Disturbia" did for "Rear Window", update it for a teen audience, but where the latter film succeeded this fails miserably.
Quaid is cast against type as a deranged mortician who lives with the corpse of his wife. When a bunch of uncharismatic "One Tree Hill" type teens catch on to this, one of their number becomes his latest victim. As is usual in these films, the adults of the town don't believe them so they must expose him themselves. Quaid has fun with the role and plays it well over the top but his performance isn't enough to elevate a bland script.
The budget for this borefest was seven million dollars and it's hard to see where it was spent. Maybe most of it went to Quaid, it seems the only explanation for an actor of his quality appearing in something as bad as this.
February 5, 2012
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

It is great to finally see Dennis Quaid play a character with personality again! Lately, it seems like he plays the same scarred, emotionless character, over and over again. It's hard to remember that it's his charisma that made him a star and you can really see it in Beneath The Darkness. Dennis Quaid plays Vaughn Ely, a mortician who is bat shit crazy. To the town, Ely is this great guy who gives back to the community, but only one person can see him for what he really is. Travis (Tony Oller) is a local teenager who works odd jobs for Ely and has always had suspicions about the man, but never did anything about it. One night, the subject comes up while with his friends and they decide to bust into Ely's home to find out what he's really hiding. The story starts out very slowly and I wasn't expecting it to get any better, but it really does. I already mentioned how good Quaid is, but the star of this film is Tony Oller. I've heard him sing, but I've never seen him act, and to say I was impressed is an understatement. Between Quaid's outlandish behavior and Oller's teenage angst, I didn't need much of a story to follow in order to be entertained. Beneath The Darkness is strange and not everyone is going to like it, but it's one of these films that you keep watching, because you want to know what's going to happen. What happens is that it actually turns into a pretty entertaining and respectable film, that features a star in the making.
October 6, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Ely Vaughn: Stairs can be very dangerous... most accidents happen in the home!
    – Submitted by Synthia E (18 months ago)
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