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Old 02-07-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
Kim Bruun
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Beneath (2007)

Anyone seen this?

Saddled with anonymous title and the slightly alarming "MTV presents", Beneath does not seem too popular, but I must admit that I enjoyed it.

Christy, a doe-eyed, traumatised young woman, returns to her childhood home upon the news of the death of a friend of the family. She is troubled by visions of her now deceased older sister, Vanessa, who was burnt and horribly disfigured in a car accident, screaming and clawing at the lid of her coffin. Her brother-in-law and niece are also marked by the loss of Christy's sister, and the niece tells of nightly visitings by a "dark thing".

Without giving away too much, Beneath is part ghost story, part murder mystery. In some respects, it feels like it could have been made in the early 1980's, and I enjoyed it as such. The story treads no new ground, but it works for me because of its simplicity, and because I found myself immersed in the aesthetic tapestry of the movie. The soundtrack features a woman's breathy vocals, the main location is a relic of sprawling mansion with many secrets, and the visions visited upon the heroine are as much bewildering as they are helpful: Disjoined, eery glimpses, dots that she cannot immediately connect.

Much of the criticism is directed towards the actors, particularly Nora Zehetner. Zehetner is a beautiful young woman, and she doesn't really misstep so much as lack impact.

The fact that this isn't a gory movie doesn't mean that there isn't any disturbing imagery. Flashbacks of Vanessa's painful recovery process are realistic and difficult to look at:

For some reason, I always felt that disfigured characters were compelling in horror movies, whether they are villains or broken heroes. I guess that's part of this movie's allure for me.

Any other fans here? It seems to be a pretty under-the-radar affair.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
Hellbound Heart
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Yeah, it was pretty decent. The sister was freaky as shit. It's definitely one film where you feel the need to wash your hands after watching it.
"There are no heroes...in life, the monsters win." - George R.R. Martin

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Old 02-07-2013, 10:07 PM   #3
Kim Bruun
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Originally Posted by Katatonia View Post
The sister was freaky as shit.
Yes, but not because she is a monster. We can all relate to the unbearable tragedy of her plight. There is something psychologically profound about having one's appearance totally destroyed, and this movie plays on that fear like a fiddle. Spoiler: Even though her husband never stops loving her, he rejects her emotionally, thinking she would be better off dead and projecting his love onto another woman, having an affair. Vanessa essentially loses her life (as a wife, a sister, and a mother) and self after the accident and is hidden away like a shameful secret, trapped in a broken form. Imagine being in her place. Now that is scary.
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