“The director, Ben Ketai, does a good job of building up tension and keeping the tension going.”
by Martin Hafer
About a decade ago, The Descent debuted and was about a group of cave explorers who became trapped and were picked off one by one by an unknown entity. Or, it is possible that they thought such creatures existed and they killed each other off in the process. A few years later, they made a sequel. Well, if you really, really love these films, Beneath is almost like seeing The Descent Part III.
Beneath begins at a retirement party for a coal miner. At this party, in addition to everyone getting drunk, the man’s daughter (who is a college student) is invited down into the mine in the morning–to see if she’s brave enough to go there. Well, she shows up but soon the unexpected occurs–there’s an accident and a group of miners (including the lady) are trapped. If this isn’t claustrophobic and scary enough, soon they start seeing and hearing things. Are these the ghosts of other miners who died here decades ago, is there some evil presence or are they just letting their imaginations run wild? Well, the viewer isn’t 100% certain and although you see some scary looking stuff, you cannot be sure that it is or isn’t real. Could it just be a form of mass hysteria? All you know for certain is that the film soon becomes a violent bloodbath, as the survivors start attacking each other and soon, perhaps, none of them will be left alive.
If you like scary films, Beneath creates a nice atmosphere. It’s very scary and dark and plays on many of our worst fears. The director, Ben Ketai, does a good job of building up tension and keeping the tension going. As for the script, it is a bit derivative since it is so much like the Descent films. Additionally, I didn’t really like the female character, as you’re expected to believe that a person who has never been in the mines might be tougher and have greater survival skills than the men who have been working there for years. Simply, she seemed more like a plot device than a real person. Plus, I find it hard to imagine that the coal mine would let a visitor go into the shafts to hang out with the workers. Still, if you like a film with thrills and scary stuff, it does have plenty of that. Familiar but I must admit it’s still pretty horrifying.