Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kevin Sorbo, Peter MacNeill, Brendan Beiser
Director: David Winning
Genres: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
When a conference center is developed despite warnings that the grounds are toxic, guests start complaining that strange events are taking place. Conference coordinator Khali (Natalie Brown, Dawn of the Dead) is accosted b... more »
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Not bad for a Sci-Fi Original.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Something Beneath (David Winning, 2007)
Why do I keep watching Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies? Simple. Ten years ago, Sci-Fi Channel picked up Cube, a movie that had been overlooked for cinematic distribution in America. Cube has gone on to be the Sci-Fi Channel's greatest success story, still garnering impressive ratings when it shows up, and picking up relatively awe-inspiring DVD rental figures. I keep waiting for the next Cube. And so I keep watching Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies. Every once in a while, I get a mildly nice surprise. Something Beneath is not, by any standards, the next Cube, but it's the closest Sci-Fi Channel have come in quite a while.
The story opens on the construction site of a conference center, during which a construction worker is killed. Fast-forward a year, the conference center is open and on the verge of holding its first conference, an environmental summit. Trying to hold everything together on the conference end is Douglas Middleton (Kevin Sorbo), a laid back priest whose main concern is trying to keep his keynote speaker, the public-speaking-challenged Eugene (Capote's Rob McLoughlin), safe from celebutante Mikaela Strovsky (The Plague's Brittany Scobie), who believes she should be the keynote speaker. Things are a little crazier on the center's end, though-- they seem to be plagued not only with plumbing problems of epidemic proportions, but a staff who range from the incompetent brown-nosers to the useless stoners. The only one of any worth whatsoever is Khali Spence (Natalie Brown of Dawn of the Dead), who quickly forms a united front with Middleton in trying to keep the whole conference from imploding. Things get complicated when Eugene is found dead in the woods a short way from the building.
On the surface, this is just another dumb ecohorror flick, but this is unlike any ecohorror flick I've ever seen. For one thing, the writers-- Ethlie Ann Vare, David Winning (the two of whom worked together previously on Andromeda), and Mark Mullin (Eye of the Beast)-- never treat it as an ecohorror flick. That alone is refreshing, and sends this way above the average for the genre. What they do treat it as can sometimes be confusing, as the flick veers from romance to murder mystery to satire to monster movie to just about everything else under the sun, but it never stumbles into the usual message-laden ecohorror tropes. And really, the biggest surprise of the movie: who knew Kevin Sorbo could actually act? All these years I've passed him off as another Schwarzenegger wannabe, now all the sudden he shows chops. Sorbo and Brown have a natural, easy chemistry between them, and it works. As well, the parts of the movie that are supposed to be funny are actually funny, even if the parts that are supposed to make you jump don't, really. And the big bad guy is really silly, when we finally get to the big reveal, and the CGI is pretty badly done, but hey, it's a monster movie. What, you were expecting the Lord of the Rings?
All in all, it's a fun little movie, definitely worth killing two hours with if you're in the mood for that sort of thing. ***
Get rid of the "message" and it might be OK
Genevieve Hayes | Australia | 02/18/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"An intelligent creature, that takes the form of black goo, terrorizes people at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. Anyone who touches the goo, suffers from hallucinations involving their greatest fear, which ultimately result in their death.
It is very unusual for me to give a film only one star - usually I can see some merit in even the most banal of movies. However, "Something Beneath" is such a confused and derivative mess, that I am prepared to make an exception here. The basic premise, that of a monster which terrorizes people through their imaginings, is taken straight from "A Nightmare on Elm Street", but given that this was made for television, the hallucination set-pieces are nowhere near as good as those in any of the "Elm Street" films. They are all done on the cheap, and television censorship requirements mean that not too much blood or violence can be shown. Still, I could have coped with a cheap "Elm Street" rip-off. Where this film really fails is when the writers try to insert an environmental message into the film. Horror movies with messages can work, but when the message is essentially that we should learn to live with the monster, then you know that you're heading for confusion and an incredibly lame ending. Such is the case here.
"Something Beneath" is one of many made-for-TV movies that Kevin Sorbo has appeared in recently, none of which are particularly brilliant, but most of which are made watchable by Sorbo's likeable personality. Sorbo is still likeable in this film (this time he plays an environmentalist priest), but the film, in general, is so bad that even that isn't enough to save it. Sorbo fans would be better off rewatching old "Hercules" episodes.
Oh and one last word of warning, don't expect to see the scene on the DVD's cover. It's not in the movie. I don't think the film's budget could handle something like that.
Good movie for what it is!
R. Sorrow | Georgia USA | 09/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Something Beneath is a good movie,for what it is. Kevin Sorbo does a good job playing the priest. It wasn't as scary as you might think it is. The one thing I don't like is the packaging of the dvd. I was told that the version released in Australia has a picture of Sorbo on the cover. I would have much preferred that to the cover of the US release-I don't even remember that scene being in the movie!"
Bob Lew | Mass. | 05/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw on Sci Fi Channel--thought I would buy. I'm a Kevin Sorbo fan--a good movie, not his best though."