Movie Review: Beneath (2013)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2013 supernatural horror movie starring Kelly Noonan.

Synopsis: A young woman studying environmental law accepts a dare to accompany her father and his crew on his last coal mine shift before retirement. When the tunnel collapses, everyone is trapped 600 feet below the surface. To make things worse, an evil supernatural presence begins to cause the miners to turn against each other.

Who's in it?

Review

One of the main reasons why I picked this particular movie to watch with my wife tonight was the fact it took place in a coal mine. There are two reasons for this. First, I come from a family of coal miners (my grandfather, uncles and cousins worked in West Virginia coal mines) and could relate a bit to the characters in the movie as a result. 

The second, and main, reason was the fact a collapsed coal mine was the perfect setting for a horror movie like this. There's no way to escape and the characters would already be fighting for their lives. Adding a supernatural element to it was only going to make an already scary situation scarier. And, as it turns out, I was right.

The thing that really makes this particular movie work is the way it gives the viewer an uncomfortable feeling from the second the characters enter the mine. I'm not claustrophobic but was feeling a bit cramped myself when watching them moving around in those dark, narrow tunnels with a variety of tools and machinery that could (and ultimately do) cause some serious injury.

The other aspect of this film I liked was the fact it was hard to tell exactly what was happening to the miners. While the film had some obvious supernatural undertones to it, many of the things that were happening could also be explained away by a miner (or miners) panicking or suffering from oxygen deprivation. In fact, as I told my wife, I was fully expecting the daughter (Noonan) to find out she was hallucinating the whole thing.

My only real complaint about this film is the ending. This is both because it was somewhat predictable (I kind of figured out how it was going to end the second the movie started) and because it leaves too many loose ends relating to what exactly happened in the mine. It didn't need to explain everything that happened. But, it would have been better with a little more clarification.

Final Opinion

I wasn't overly crazy about the ending. However, mostly because of where the movie takes place, it is a pretty decent horror film. It definitely had my wife and I on the edge of our seats and is a movie I would recommend watching if you're looking for something a little different.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 11/29/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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