In 1965, in Northern Spain, a dam will be built to bring progress to the location of Desbaria and the town of Marienbad is near to be completely flooded. Two boys, Teo and Luis, cross the se... Read allIn 1965, in Northern Spain, a dam will be built to bring progress to the location of Desbaria and the town of Marienbad is near to be completely flooded. Two boys, Teo and Luis, cross the security boundary to play in the evacuated town and Teo listen to voices in the abandoned ch... Read allIn 1965, in Northern Spain, a dam will be built to bring progress to the location of Desbaria and the town of Marienbad is near to be completely flooded. Two boys, Teo and Luis, cross the security boundary to play in the evacuated town and Teo listen to voices in the abandoned church. They find a group of strange people chained in the watered basement, Teo releases th... Read all
We Don't Give a DAM!
Brian Yuzna was already responsible for some really crazy and unusual horror projects in the past; some of them refreshing and original ("Society", "The Dentist") and other ones unspeakably terrible ("Rottweiler"), but "Beneath Still Waters" is undoubtedly the most discouraging effort he was ever involved in. This film certainly doesn't look as if it were directed by someone with over twenty years of experience in the genre, because the wholesome simply feels amateurish and unfinished. How can a concept holding so much horrific potential result in such a boring and incoherent mess? How can one film feature so many exquisite filming locations, nauseating make-up effects and thoroughly depraved themes and still turn out a complete failure? I love macabre tales handling about sunken villages and the dark secrets that drowned with them. There are way too few films like this in the horror genre and of the two I encountered during the past year, one is obscure as hell and remains unreleased on DVD to this date (the modest Swiss production entitled "Marmorera") and the other one - this particular film - is a missed opportunity. There are a lot of things going on in "Beneath Still Waters", but only very little of them make sense and it seems as if Yuzna doesn't want you to care about any of the characters and the grim ordeals they are facing. The events take place in a remote Spanish village, days before the great 40th anniversary celebration of the dam that prevented the area from flooding and the subsequent foundation of a brand new town called Desbaria. Few people know, however, the dam initially served to deliberately drown the entire town of Marienbad, because all the inhabitants were gradually joining the satanic cult led by Mordecai Salas. Two ruthless boys accidentally saved Salas from a watery death right before the town sunk entirely, and he has been waiting forty years now to seek revenge on the descendants of the previous mayor. So what we have here is, without exaggerating, one of the most promising horror premises of the past two decades AND you can also add several dynamite sub themes like nudity, child-kill, underwater zombies and even a totally gratuitous orgy complete with nuns and chickens! Can someone please tell me where exactly this idea went wrong? Yuzna leaps from one subject to another without paying attention to continuity and for some reason he also inserts numerous tedious elements. All the main characters are bland and of course the really wooden acting performances of the ensemble cast don't help. Most of the players appear to be dead long before their characters drown in the lake or become "consumed" by the living mucus & seaweed. Such a dam(n) shame, because the Spanish filming locations are genuinely ominous! For the proper grim use of picturesque Spanish villages, please check out "Dagon" and "The Nun", which are both films Yuzna produced but not directed himself.
- Mar 17, 2008
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