The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All Beneath The Darkness News
All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (1)
| Rotten (23)
| DVD (1)
A bore sprinkled with hints of hilarity, soon to be buried like so many of its characters.
You anticipate every scene before it happens and figure out every secret before it's revealed.
Dennis Quaid goes Psycho in dull Texas-set thriller.
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.
Even Dennis Quaid's uncharacteristic hamming as a mad mortician in a small Texas town can't save this silly, scare-free horror film...
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.
... the film leave much to be desired. [Full review in Spanish]
...a pervasively underwhelming thriller that wears out its welcome almost immediately.
Steer clear of Beneath the Darkness if you've grown tired of the paint-by-number thrillers that seem to be plaguing the genre lately
There's nothing in Beneath the Darkness you haven't seen before, better, and recently.
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.
A compilation of contrivances and absurdities that is right off the teen-horror assembly line.
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.
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.
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