Hello, horror fans! Welcome to another edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. If you are new to the column, here is a quick breakdown. Twice each month, on the second and fourth Fridays, I come here and talk about horror movies that I feel are underrated and underloved. I dive into all subgenres, comb through each decade and look around the world to choose the entries. In this edition, I discuss the 2011 film, Beneath the Darkness. Stick around to see why I think it deserves more love.
About Beneath the Darkness
In a small town in Texas, a group of high school friends decides to go to the local mortician’s house. There are rumors that the house is haunted, and sometimes, you can see ghosts in the windows. After observing strange movements in the upstairs window, the group makes a terrible decision to break in and see if they can find anything.
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When the teens enter the house, they tentatively explore only to discover something horrifying in the upstairs bedroom. As they try to escape, the mortician comes home and murders one of the teens. Because he is a respected member of the community, everyone believes it was an accident, but two of the remaining friends take it upon themselves to prove the truth.
Beneath the Darkness stars Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Stephen Ford (Lundsford), Aimee Teegarden, Devon Werkheiser, Wilbur Penn and Brett Cullen. Martin Guigui directed the film, and Bruce Wilkinson wrote the story.
This film has a zero percent Tomatometer Score and a 15 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
As always, I took a stroll through online reviews of this movie to discuss the main complaints. Surprisingly, I could not find a lot of details. While there are quite a few low reviews, very few included information on why the reviewers did not enjoy the experience. A few called Beneath the Darkness boring; others merely called it a disappointment. So, I will tell you why I love the movie, which I think will sufficiently debate the only issues noted in reviews.
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The opening scene is intense and gives viewers a murder off the bat. I did see one comment that this scene never ties into the rest of the story, but that is inaccurate. Not only does it show the “bad guy’s” level of depravity, but it also comes back into play towards the end.
After we get into the main story, it does not take long for the main event to cause another death. It is important to note that this movie is not a blood bath. It does not have much in the way of blood and guts. Also, it does not have a ton of deaths. There are only two, but there are more attempts. The entire point of the plot, the way I see it, is to show the viciousness and depravity of the mortician.
The underlying message in Beneath the Darkness describes the danger of someone well respected in a small community being able to get away with literal murder. Add to that that adults tend to disbelieve teens, especially when it involves a well-known adult in the community. This is the real horror depicted in the film. In a way, it is more psychological than slasher. I think many of the reviews I read had a problem with this point. I believe many viewers went into the movie expecting something similar to Saw or Friday the 13th, with a high body count and buckets of blood.
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Finally, I want to talk about the acting in this movie. Dennis Quaid does an outstanding job as a psychopath. The looks he gives and how he interacts with the other characters provide all of the creep vibes. One of the reasons I was immediately drawn into this film was Devon Werkheiser, who I vividly remembered from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. I could not believe he was in a horror film. Additionally, Aimee Teegarden, Stephen Ford and Tony Oller all gave excellent performances. I give the cast a 10/10.
Overall, Beneath the Darkness is an enjoyable, dark film. This film is not for you if you like constant kills and blood. However, give it a watch if you want something with a little more to dig into.
There you have it, horror fans, another underrated horror in the books. Have you seen this? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, enjoy the trailer for Beneath the Darkness below. Stay spooky and watch more horror movies!
You can watch Beneath the Darkness on Prime Video.
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