Film Review: From Beneath (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

Jason and girlfriend Sam travel deep into rural, any town, USA for a new lease on life and to help Sam’s sister renovate their newly acquired culinary home. When the young couple arrives something is terribly amiss. To kill time the two take a dip in a local swimming hole. Taking the plunge may turn out to be their most grave decision they’ve made yet as their collective world begins to crumble From Beneath.

REVIEW:

FROM BENEATH (2012)
Directed by: David Doucette
Starring: Lauren Watson, Jamie Temple, Blake Retter

At first From Beneath wasn’t really growing on me. During the first few minutes of exposition I began the all too familiar restless fidgeting and pondering over getting some snacks rather than being genuinely transfixed upon the screen. The dialogue seemed too forced and contrived and wasn’t very realistic. Then at the same time the young couple grew on you. It is evident Sam (Lauren Watson) is enamored with beau Jason (Jamie Temple) and she’s merely being corny because let’s face it that’s often what young girls do that are in love. We can’t hold it against her and the conflict begins to stir almost instantly as Jason demonstrates his reluctance in relocating and isn’t nearly as overt about expressing his undying affection for Sam as she.

Their playful bickering is a little more realistic as we begin to invest more of our attention into the film. Arriving at her sister’s home we’re unveiled a hint of something sinister as there is no sign of her sister or any of the family. We get a glimpse of Sam in her skivvies as the two decide to take a dip in the local swimming hole. Watson’s svelte physique is worth the price of admission alone and we buy further into Jason’s aloof infatuation with her.

Deciding they’d had enough the retreat to higher and dryer ground not before finding lecherous slugs writhing around on one another’s bodies. Needless to state they’re revolted to the max. Recovering from the heebie jeebies Jason soon learns he’s been infected from something burrowing into his skin.

It’s delightful gross out horror at its best as the special effects crew did a bang up job of illuminating his veins, pulsating skin, pus, blood, etc. The techniques they’d used probably didn’t break the bank but were immensely effective nonetheless.

In terms of cinematography, it’s esthetically pleasing to the eye, ironically being filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia yet the story resides in the U.S. The country side is breath taking and there are plenty of outdoor shots day and night to please the visual pallet. I was particularly moved by a technique I haven’t witnessed very often was deployed here and came across as very innovative and stylish. The camera would allude to a ‘pushing’ affect when Sam was roaming throughout the house, lost in solemn thought to a shot of Jason in agony on the sofa. It’s most effective when trailing one emotion unto another and the pay off is extraordinary here.

 

A lot of emphasis is placed upon character development as we peel back the layers of emotional barriers between Jason and Sam. It’s rather touching to see the myriad of emotions Jason goes through as Sam proves her devotion. In the final few minutes Jason shows his true colors yet it may be just a little too late.

Some carefully plotted panning from the past to present is illustrated with a camcorder that Sam finds. As she watches the reel unravel she learns the unearthly truth about what has happened to her missing family. With an unknown force lurking in the darkness she must choose between unconditional love and survival at any cost.

From Beneath is a creepy, crawly thrill ride of epic proportion proving an elaborate budget isn’t crucial in depicting tremendously effective terror.

-Three out of five tombstones

From Beneath (2012)

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