Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Beneath (2013)

Do you have ANY idea HOW MANY MOVIES, SONGS, AND TV EPISODES THERE ARE WITH THIS NAME? SOME IN THE SAME FREAKING YEAR??? Usually when a film proclaims itself to be an IFC After Midnight Film, you can expect one made outside of the US, but this incredibly offensive offal was made in the good ole' USA. I have absolutely no idea where as this movie has no wiki page of its' own and the IMDb apparently doesn't have a freaking clue either.

This starred Jeff Fahey, one of those on the list of people I'll watch in anything (although that list is coming under stricter scrutiny lately). The horrible thing has actually been in my draft pile for a couple of months - it's part stupid cliche', part stupid unreal behavior, and the rest is just plain bad acting in a movie claiming, of course, to be inspired by real events.

Real events, which we all know by now is relative, meaning simply that yes, there are coal mines, yes, there are accidents, and yes, people have died in them. That's it. So.

In 2013 (in the movie), a collapse at the Brackett Coal Mine left 19 workers trapped nearly 600 feet underground. This is what happened... beneath the surface.

Now, I looked this up (of course) and the most complimentary thing I could find about this 'Brackett' story is that it is a VERY LOOSE interpretation of mine collapses and, of course, despite its' claims, IS NOT A TRUE STORY. Which is good because is sucks sooooo bad.

We have a crew of miners who apparently have survived in good health in a coal mine for years although they do not wear respirators (the one guy who actually had one had no filters on it), they rarely wear their helmets, I didn't see ANY goggles or any other safety gear that you would think a veteran coal miner would make sure to have at all times in order not to spend out his latter years with black lung. OR, get thousands of dollars in fines for violating OSHA regulations.

The stupidest premise in the world and the most clichéd: Judith Marsh (Molly Hagan) decides she wants a take-your-daughter-to-work-day and picks the last day of George Marsh (Jeff Fahey) on his last working day, because he is retiring. Speaking from the OSHA view, this is impossible. Where my hubby works (not a mine) I can't just stroll onto the place - there's permits and equipment and this and that and the other thing... and when there's an accident, those rules get so tight you could make a diamond out of coal - no pun intended.

So. No masks, just boots, jackets with SMALL reflectors, and when they feel like it, a helmet - no respirator, no earplugs, no safety goggles. 

This is supposed to be spooky because 19 miners died ??? in a tragedy where they were stuck and left to die slowly as the air ran out. Pffft. Whoops, that was a waste of air.

So a cave-in happens of course when two miners are careless with a piece of equipment they've run (and I'm sure they had to get certification to do so) for years. It's a machine with a large rotating steel drum equipped with tungsten carbide teeth that scrape coal from the seam. It can mine as much as five tons of coal a minute – more than a miner of the 1920s' would produce in an entire day. 

These guys want more money. More coal, more money. So, they get really greedy and careless, and they break open a hole in a wall, causing the cave in. Score so far: 3 dead, 5 or 6 missing, one badly hurt.

They have 72 hours to spend in their little survival chamber that they conveniently were near when the collapse happened. They have oxygen and plenty of supplies to last five or six days. The chamber is well lit and has portholes to looks out. The inside looks like a decompression chamber.

The daughter starts to hallucinate - first she thinks she sees one of the miners stick his finger in the wounded guy's leg and move it around, then when alone with the injured guy, helping him with his leg, she thinks she sees his face melt. She grabs her helmet an runs like an idiot. Did she close the door?

She comes face to face with a now blind, zombie-like version of one of the original miners - uh, maybe. They make the movie too damned ambiguous - are they really seeing spectres or is it just the lack of oxygen causing them to hallucinate?

Whatever the hell is going on (and by now I really really really don't give a damn) she goes on a killing spree which the movie seems to think is a perfectly rational thing to do and she lives... and gets out... isn't that lovely?

The ONLY good thing about this movie is a song that played at the end. Believe me, if it had played at the beginning, I would have listened then shut the freaking movie off.

'The Lost Soul' Doc Watson Family