Beneath the facade, is fear. Beneath the smile, is shame. Beneath the ground... is death. Environmental activist Father Douglas Middleton (Kevin Sorbo, as a most unusual priest) must stop a primeval beast preying on his eco-conference colleagues -- or fall victim to it himself. Written by
...in the form of The Goo That Kills! From beneath the earth, it gets up and kills! Die, you pitiful humans with no respect for Mother Nature! Die in Hell and suffer a Thousand Deaths!
Nevermind that. I just felt like screaming something, anything, whatever, after seeing The Goo That Puts You To Sleep. There I was thinking the concept of a sinister mass of undefined substance rising from the bowels of the earth to take revenge on mankind sounded kind of cool. Knowing beforehand that this was (co-)produced by RHI, I knew I didn't have to expect a horror flick heavy on the stomach. RHI produces films & mini-series for television, but at least from what I had seen of them so far, most of their productions were supported by decent budgets, nice effects and a capable cast. I'm talking stuff from the 90's here, like the outer-space thriller "Lifepod" (1993) and their adaptation of "Gulliver's Travels" (1994). But after just now having seen "Something Beneath", I took the liberty of looking up their filmography as a production company again. And oh yes, things really went downhill for them in this new millennium. I can't see anyone who has seen the recent "Rise of the Gargoyles" (2009) disagreeing with me on that.
As the main location in "something Beneath", we have some sort of hotel/resort in which an environmental conference is about to be held. But the conference never happens, as guests start dying mysterious deaths. Responsible for the killings, is this black goo that's got the whole plumbing system of the resort messed up. When your skin touches the goo, you start hallucinating about your deepest fears, and you die, in one way or another. A guy who has asthma, gets pulled into the ground and suffocates. An extremely annoying celebrity babe - who again has me convinced that all video-bloggers are narcissistic, egotistical morons - gets assaulted by an ugly old hag coming from a mirror. A guy who likes playing zombie-shooting games gets attacked by the living dead. And this goes on until some priest & an executive lady in charge figure out what's going on. Then they hit the sewers and try to destroy this thing from beneath. It all turns out to be the umpteenth blue-print for yet another unworthy creature feature.
I admit, there are much worse films out there and still being made in this day and age, even for television (Sci-Fi Channel products probably is your safest bet to catch one of those). But "Something Beneath" turned out so unimaginative and uninspired, I couldn't even have much fun with it. The plot throws in a whole bunch of very different characters, and none of them really work together at any point. The make-up effects are passable. The CGI just average (and thankfully not overused). The orchestrated death sequences try to be original, but painfully lack a decent execution and are poorly crafted. No mood, no atmosphere, no tension, no scares. The final money shot of the blob creature in all its glory is present, but the damn thing doesn't do anything. Yes, it hints at something Lovecraftian or may even have you reminiscing some older, British B&W sci-fi classics, but nobody can convince me that all this served as an inspiration to the makers of "Something Beneath". And how they defeat the slimy creature this time, is simply preposterous.
I can't imagine in a million years "Something Beneath" being worth it for any serious horror fan. Perhaps Kevin Sorbo fans might watch and enjoy it, but what else would they do in their spare time anyway? So for those who decide to watch this film and happen to think it's awesome, you can go seek out Jim Wynorski's "Project Viper" (2002). It's an equally awesome movie, but this time featuring an undefined gray gooey substance from space. And if you want to take it a few steps up the quality ladder and watch an undiscovered recent masterpiece in the 'undefined organisms engulfing the earth and swallowing mankind' sub-genre, there's this one film called "Living Hell (aka Organizm)" (2008) that will probably rock your world. Enjoy!
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