Beneath (2014)


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A crew of coal miners becomes trapped 600 feet below ground after a disastrous collapse. As the air grows more toxic and time runs out, they slowly descend into madness and begin to turn on one another. Inspired by true events. (C) IFC Films

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Critic Reviews for Beneath

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

A taut, atmospheric if not especially deep thriller ...

Jul 31, 2014 | Full Review…

When does a bad, cheap horror movie becomes something more offensively horrible? When it pegs its generic nonsense on real-life tragedy and becomes exploitation.

Jul 25, 2014 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

A below-ground but slightly above average horror movie ...

Jul 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Halfway through, the movie loses its grip on logic and truth, and you stop believing it's based on anything other than the years the director spent in his youth, marching in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.

Jul 23, 2014 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Beneath exhausts the appeal of its thinly sketched characters almost as soon as they're trapped together in the mine's emergency bunker ...

Jul 22, 2014 | Full Review…

As a low-budget disaster thriller, the film works well enough - but it's the commitment the supernatural "question" that makes Beneath worth checking out.

Aug 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Beneath

A competently made and decently acted horror film that's really a little too dull for my own tastes. Personally, this is like The Descent without the monsters. I realize that any horror film that takes place in this kind of setting will invite that comparison, and in some ways it's not fair, but that is the way of the game unfortunately. I don't think the film makes good use of its setting to be perfectly honest. The cinematography is easily the best part of the film, but it doesn't capture the sense of claustrophobia one must feel in this type of situation. Almost as if the world is closing in on you the longer you're stuck in there. That must be a terrifying feeling, even if you're an experienced miner. I don't think the film does a good job at that, at least in my opinion. Part of what made The Descent so good is how it mixed some very real horror, the fear of heights, claustrophobia, the unknown, etc. with a traditional 'slasher' film, even though it can't really be classified as that. This movie tries some of that but it, eventually, starts to focus on something a little more on the supernatural goings-on. Almost as if they knew that they couldn't really get the hang of how to do the more atmospheric stuff. Another problem with the scares is that they're pretty much the same each time out. Samantha is facing one way, she turns around, sees one of the miners with side of their face almost melting off. It's almost literally the same thing over and over and over again. Admittedly I thought the special effects, for the melting faces, looked really cool. But when you see it twice it's like 'ok guys, give me something new here'. By the sixth time it doesn't even register in your mind anymore. It's the law of diminishing returns. Tell the same joke repeatedly and it starts losing its effectiveness. Same principle applies to scares in horror films. You need variety. That's really what I disliked about the film, the lack in variety in the scares themselves. The film is also really one-note. It ends the same way it started. It doesn't peak or anything like that, it always stays at the same level. And I mean thematically, there's no real interesting place for the characters to go. Which is ironic given the setting the film takes place in. They're as one dimensional as it gets. Of course, this is a horror movie, and caring about characters is second. Essentially these people are there to be killed off in gruesome ways. They serve their purpose I suppose, but goddamn if I can't remember any of them past the main character and her father. And it's not like these three have the depth of a character like Walter White had, but they're the most "interesting". And you still didn't care if they lived or died, so that goes to show you. Of course, the film ends on a twist. You're left wondering whether there was anything supernatural at all or it was just a product of fragmented minds. Kind of a cheap ending, in my opinion, but it is what it is. What sucks most about this film is that it IS a competently made film. It's not ever terrible, it's just a movie that doesn't know how to make proper use of its elements into telling a coherent, suspenseful story and that's a damn shame. Best watched if you literally have nothing better to watch. It's not bad, but it will leave you feeling disappointed, hoping that it could, and should, have been more than what it was.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

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