Blu-ray Review “Beneath”

Actors: Daniel Zovatto, Mark Margolis
Directors: Larry Fessenden
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to indie horror, Larry Fessenden (“The Last Winter”, “Wendigo”) is the man. When you see the poster for “Beneath” you might think “Oh it just another JAWS rip-off!” Well you will be wrong (sort of). It takes some good ideas from “Jaws” and made it its own. I was really impressive with this film because it packed some great scares and most importantly a practical effect fish, which was creepy as hell. It is rare that a film can nail good practical effects but this film has balls and delivers!

Official Premise: When a group of young friends commemorating their high school graduation take a trip to the remote Black Lake, their celebration turns into a nightmare with the sudden appearance of a bloodthirsty, underwater predator. Stuck in a leaking boat with no oars, the teens face the ultimate tests of friendship and sacrifice during a terror-stricken fight for survival.

Shout! Factory’s sub label Scream Factory has really given this a nice release. The Blu-ray comes along with a digital copy of the film (though a downer that it is not Ultraviolet, come on!) The 1080p transfer is solid and the practical effects look great in high-def (I had watched a crappy DVD screener, prior). The DTS-HD Master Audio track is also impressive with the scares and the perfectly tuned score.

This Blu-ray also comes jam-packed with great special features. There is an audio commentary with Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick. This is very interested and highly recommend to re-watch the film. There are three featurettes including a great behind-the-scenes peek with “A Look Behind The Scenes: Making the Fish Movie”, “What’s In Black Lake?”, “From the Web: What the Zeke?” and “Fessenden on Jaws”, obviously cool to see where his inspiration came from. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Beneath the Darkness”

Directed by: Martin Guigui
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Aimee Teegarden, Devon Werkheisser, Brett Cullen
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Image Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
Running Time: 96 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

The only real draw to this film is Dennis Quaid playing one sick son-bitch. It is a role that he does not usually play and he does it really good in this film. Besides that this has nothing going for it. The suspense in the film is so tame that it comes off as non-existent. Although only run just over 90 minutes, the film drags quite a bit and its climax is a big let down as well. I would watch it if you are curious to see Quaid’s baddie turn otherwise I would avoid this film for sure.

This teen thriller follows a group of high school kids who believe that their local mortician is actually a vicious serial killer. Dennis Quaid plays Mr. Ely, the well-respected mortician.  The teens investigate his house his they believe it is haunted but they find out that the truth is much more evil than they expect. When the kids try and contact the police, they find out that no one will listen to them and side with Mr. Ely.  It is up to them to prove the truth before it is too late.

The Blu-ray presentation is ok but not great. The film is very dark and the video does an ok job of making it look decent. The sound is also decent but nothing special, especially since there was no “jump” moments, which is a major fault. The special features are also horrendous, only including one very short extra. The behind-the-scenes featurette runs just over two minutes and is a few short clips from the production. Also there is a trailer included, which gives away the whole movie.