Beneath the Dark (2010)
(15) Running time: 102 mins
Director: Chad Feehan
Writer: Chad Feehan
Starring: Josh Stewart, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Chris Browning
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Have you ever watched a film that you so deeply regret you wish you could turn back time to get those 90 minutes of your life back? I have, a number of times, but those are the duties that come with being a reviewer and a critc. My job is to endure the pain so you don’t have to. My relief from that pain comes from writing the review where I can ‘let it all out’, it is like therapy, sometimes it is nice to watch a bad film just for the joy it brings to review it. Sometimes though a film comes along that is utter tosh, and gives me nothing to actually complain about, it merely exists and Beneath the Dark is one of those films.
Director Chad Feehan clearly has ideas, and tries to pull off a sort of M Night Shyamalan type of film with a twist but just can’t do it. This is basically the John Cusack starring Identity with a new twist, but presented dreadfully. The plot details, for what they’re worth, is this: Paul (Stewart) and Adrienne (Sigler) are driving across country through the Mojave desert on their way to LA for a wedding and along the way they stop off at Roy’s Motel and Cafe. Staying overnight, things get a little strange. After the couple attempt sex (their relationship is struggling see) things go wrong and Paul buggers off to the cafe. The sex scene is very awkward, although it is hard to understand why Paul was not interested! Anyway, in the cafe Paul meets Roy, and later the same song is played over the jukebox, and then a sinister black man arrives. Simply known as The Man, if you haven’t guessed the twist by now then you may as well give up!
As things get weirder and the couple become paranoid, plot twists are offered up to try and distract you from the so-called shock reveal, bu they don’t work. The pacing is painfully slow, the acting is bearable and there are no scares, shocks or decent violence to really give you anything memorable. The film just drifts along, dragging out a story which would have been better served as a short film. This is boring, predictable and just not very interesting. Blimey, even writing this review is making me feel tired and bored, so sorry about this but I really do not have anything else to say on this dull film. Only watch if you are suffering from insomnia!