You gotta love it when a movie decides to slap on the ol’ “Inspired by True Events” tagline. Usually it’s actually just a tiny bit of the story and even then it’s stretched and distorted to fit the type of tale the people want you to see. In Beneath’s case, it’s using the basis of some supposed 19 miners that went missing in Deer Canyon Tunnel. Whether that’s all true or not is not the point of Beneath, but just acts as kind of a side plot in a movie that is more about the scariness of mining, the claustrophobic nightmare it can be and a smattering of the supernatural, of which that is either real or all in their heads. I can’t say for sure about what I think happened in the movie and I won’t spoil it for anyone either, so with that said, let’s get on with this review…
RUN-TIME: 89 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.77:1
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1
PRODUCTION DATE: 2013
RELEASE DATE: April 20th, 2015
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.
Sam Marsh (played by the super hot Kelly Noonan) has come home to celebrate her father’s, played by the ever gruff Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man, Machete), last day of being a miner, of which he has been for the past 35 years. She decides to go down in the mine with them for the last day and what do you know, today has to be the day that a cave-in happens, due to a drill hitting a hole in the mountain (or is it something supernatural? Dun dun dunnnn!) Trapped way below ground, the crew won’t be rescued for 72 hours, so they have to wait it out. Unfortunately, the air is getting toxic and people are starting to go a little crazy. Is it all in their heads, or is it the spirits of some dead miners taking possession of them? Honestly, I have no idea.
Beneath is a pretty good movie; the pace is quick and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. Sadly, not much is revealed and after a quick and pointless “grab” scene at the end of the movie, I am still none the wiser as to what exactly happened in this movie. That might be okay for a few people, but for me? I’ve invested some time in these characters and I want to know what the hell is happening. Don’t leave me hanging like that!
Besides the negative opinion for the ending, everything else is a-okay in my book. The acting from everyone is top notch, with a real miner having been brought in to teach the actors the ways of the mining life. It shows through, as the group of man are connected and share a bond, even though most are faceless characters, destined to be killed off. Sam is our connection from the outside world. She is brought in, scared, nervous and doesn’t know what to do. Most of the men don’t want her there and they think it’s a bad omen. They might be right on that last bit. Kelly Noonan does a wonderful job of conveying the fear of the ever crushing weight and sound of the mountain bearing down on them. Her fear of the confined spaces goes into overdrive in a few scenes and I’ll admit, I was tensing up during a couple of those scenes right along with her. Bravo for that.
All and all, Beneath provides a tale that’s both interesting and mysterious, but the actual backstory and resolution is left on the cutting room floor it seems. You spend a good amount of time wondering what the hell is going on and once the end credits roll around, you still have a big ol’ what the hell look on your face, cause nothing is resolved or explained. Either way, I still think it was a lot of fun to watch and I was spooked a few good times.
The DVD from Arrow Films is actually looking pretty damn nice. I am a little confused on the aspect ratio of the movie. It filled my TV with a 16×9 ratio, but during the special features, the scenes from the movie shown there, were in what looked to be 2.35:1. It’s not a big problem, as I didn’t really notice any issues with cropping or stretching, but I figured I would mention it, as it seemed strange to me. As for the audio, it features 5.1 surround sound, and the use of the rear speakers is actually quite often. The echos and screams are all around you in this one.
The special features are a little on the light side, as all you get is a Behind the Scenes Feature, which runs only a few minutes long, an even shorter Short Featurette talking about the movie and finally a short clip about the missing 19 miners. On the light side this DVD is.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
- Behind the Scenes
- Short Featurette
- Bonus Clip
Obvious comparisons are going to made with that other claustrophobic movie out there titled The Decent, which in itself is a great film. However, I actually found that Beneath reminded more the movie Below, which dealt with people being trapped on a submarine, with a supernatural element thrown in. Either way, if you liked either of those two movies, you’re going to really enjoy Beneath. It’s a tight little flick, with some good acting and a story that’s running full steam. That is until the unfortunate bummer of an ending, in which all said steam is let out.