A crew of coal miners becomes trapped 600 feet below ground after a disastrous collapse. As the air grows more toxic and time runs out, they slowly descend into madness and begin to turn on one another.
"Under The Bed" is Steven C. Miller's continued vision of of modern horror that is heavily influenced by classic cult genres. Not technically a throwback film, "Under The Bed" does seem to bring back a lot of the nostalgia and romanticizing that 80's young adult, creature-feature films utilized to hold an audience to the film. The story focuses on two brothers dealing with that ultimate childhood evil- the thing under the bed! Starring Jonny Weston, Gattlin Griffith, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander and one hell of a creature from the other-world, "Under The Bed" is a bit more grown up than those 80's teen PG horror films that played it a bit safer or comical. This film is a somber, macabre tale that stays well in the shadows of the mythic fear allowing for a darker film.
The story plays on basic fears of growing up with uncertainty, tragedy and change that drive childhood imaginations and insecurities. The film ads the element of a supernatural evil that plagues the brothers thoughts, stalks them, and lives –according to the adults in the kids lives-totally within their own imagination. This theme flows in an almost mournful melancholic way throw the first half of the film, pushing forward mostly on the melodrama and strained emotional dynamics between the characters. Almost as if trying to play with the notion that maybe it is in the kids imagination and the true monster lies closer in more realistic fashion. The film plays out in a mostly surrealistic style which does seem to carry on a bit too long. I was begging for some real horror or action and instead received standard trickery and fake- out scares for no reason. Then the second half of this film kicks in and oh boy does it kick in hard.
"Under The Bed, mid-way through- gives us the goodies with actual scares coming from the monster and an intensity to the drama the brings you out of the daze of anticipation, right in to the chills of these boys nightmare. The acting is well enough with just enough dialog and emotion coming from the characters to make them relatable but not too much so that you tire of them. As far as the "teen" actors in the film-like most movies with kids- I never really connect or connected to them other than fearing for them in the film. I haven't connected with kids in movies for a long time. Everything about them seems a mystery to me-I am just too old to relate. However these kids in this film were super actors and the story or screen never seemed to over power their abilities as actors.
This film for me personally, is one of the better creature features to come out recently and the film's aesthetic quality is top notch. It maintains a eerie – not quite right – air about it through the entire film. The special effects and the monster itself were pretty awesome, and the whole little mythic element to its existence was memorable. Much like the world of Wes Craven's "They". I would have loved to hear more about that otherworld and the creature under the bed. But hey – live is abound with mystery and not all things reward with explanation. Anyway back to "Under The Bed". This film is a refreshing new modernized spin on an old childhood fear and worth watching at least once, for me personally a few more times. The gore and graphic violence, though pretty much nil until the last act, was gory and I loved it. Steven C. Miller is a true talent, offering an almost romantic love of surreal horror that ends in an epic high intensity bloodshed. That quality to today's horror is greatly lacking-I think. Very few directors express the more Gothic love affair with horror that played through 80's horror. I really enjoyed this film.
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