Back of Box:
At a seedy theater in a sleepy suburban town, a group of friends get together for a midnight screening of an early 1970s
horror film, unaware that the director/star of the film has something more in store for them than an evening of innocent jolts.
Good natured heckling as the movie begins is replaced with horrified disbelief when the movie's grotesque villain butchers
one of their friends on screen - will they be able to overcome the killer before they are all pulled into his supernatural
Plot: A convicted
maniac has an affection for torture and the dark arts. To escape his padded prison he becomes part of the
slasher film he created, leaving in his wake nothing more than a bloody hospital. Five years later the maniac's film,
The Dark Beneath, is being screened for the first time since the massacre at a local, small town theater and the terror begins
once more. Plot-wise it's a lot like Cut, but it definitely had hints of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
I liked it (Obviously). I think the ending was a little ridiculous, but it definitely had sequel potential.
I'd love this film to jump on the Hatchet band wagon and become a new school, underground slasher franchise.
Freddy and Jason can only go so far, I'm ready for some new faces with sequels. Who knows? Midnight Movie,
Hatchet and Laid to Rest could be the new trifecta.
Acting: The lead chick
Bridget, Rebekah Brandes, managed to drudge up some empathy and her boyfriend, Josh, Daniel Bonjour, played the protector
pretty good. The stand outs are Justin Baric as Timmy, Stan Ellsworth as Harley, and Ashley Black as Jackie in the movie
within the movie (It was just a lot of fun to watch her trip on acid, so awesome). Oh, and I hated Mario,
Greg Cirulnick, but that's good because I was supposed to.
Gore: Body Count (16,
plus 30+ in hospital massacre) The killer's weapon of choice was not only very original, but
it also made for some great death scenes. Stabbings, slashings, impalings...it's all great fun. The best are the
throat slit, the flying spiral to the eye and the electrocution. That last one gets props because it's hard to pull
off a good electrocution.
Suspense: The killer's
M.O. is that he can only leave the film within the film if the people watching it are scared. With that, of course the
film delivers. The first few death scenes, the ones in the basement and bathroom particularly, offer up some great
stalk suspense. A lot of the chase scenes work well with the supernatural aspect and the air duct scene is top notch.
Two other scenes I want to mention are between the killer and the little boy, Timmy, and the final theater scene before it
takes us inside the movie. Good stuff, I'm telling you.
Directing: There were
a lot of nice still set ups, but I also liked the fact that Jack Messitt didn't let the camera sit still the whole time.
The subtle movements complimented the action happening on the screen and worked extremely well. The only complaint I
have is that some of the moving shots were a little jittery, but it was no Blair Witch Project so I'm still satisfied.
Tech: The lighting was
great. Movie theaters are moody the way it is, but the lighting took it to another level. The sound was pretty
even, but some of the sound FX were pretty loud (Probably for jump factor). The soundtrack is surprisingly
minimal, but that's okay because the movie works nicely on it's own.
Other: Being that
I was a small town theater worker for part of my life I must say that this film was entirely realistic on that aspect.
I really have gone in a creepy basement to change the fountain soda syrup, the location was perfect. The killer's mask
and weapon of choice get a shout out for originality. I also like the way he teleported, reminiscent of T.V. static.
Be warned the killer does speak, very little, but he does make it count. Oh, the movie within the movie manages to sneak
some titties in for those that are interested.
Final Word: This is exactly what I'm looking
for now-a-days. Hollywood hasn't given me a damn thing to work with in the last ten years so I hail Satan every day
for films like this. I'm telling you, this film has so much potential for a franchise, I just hope it doesn't get over-looked
like so many others. This one is worth every second of its runtime. Watch it now and spread the word like a virus!