Something Beneath (2007)

Something Beneath (2007)

Evil Lurks In The Most Unlikely Of Places

A group of people attend an ecological conference at a newly built conference centre where the guests realise that there is black slime oozing from the taps instead of water. This black slime is an evil toxic agent which makes the guests biggest fears become reality and they begin to die as a result. The greedy hotel manager knows how financially important this conference is to his hotel and begins to cover-up the events. But a priest staying at the hotel realises that something is up and begins to investigate. He eventually uncovers a sinister organism in the sewers that preys on human fears and uses the slime to lure people to their deaths.

 

That’s about as good as I’ll be able to explain the story because it’s pretty much non-existent. I thought that this was going to be some sort of The Blob style creature feature. After all, it’s a Sci-Fi Channel original and we know their track record of pilfering monster flicks of the past. It’s actually nice to see them do a sci-fi-horror film without a giant snake, giant crocodile, giant prehistoric monster, killer shark or any of the usual suspects that they tend to trot out. Although in many respects, I wished they had have done because, despite featuring something other than your flesh-and-blood monster, Something Beneath ends up in exactly the same dead end as it’s fellow TV films.

I’d like to state that at no point in proceedings does the gooey substance grab some chick like it does on the front cover. Nor does the hand reaching out of the reservoir on the back cover make an appearance. You can understand why memories of The Blob came flooding back when I saw those images. The slime does ooze around the screen a lot and does a lot of dripping and running along tiles and porcelain but that’s hardly pant-wettingly scary stuff is it? The slime starts off rather interesting as a monster when you think it’s going to do what the front cover promises but once it’s explained as some new species which can think for itself it loses any sort of fear factor it had (it didn’t have a fear factor to begin with, it just seemed like a good line to use). The slime kills people by forcing it’s victims to hallucinate and think that they are confronting whatever their worst fear is. So they obviously came up with people that have the single worst fears in the world to avoid showing anything remotely exciting or expensive. If you’re scared of a flying walrus which shoots out fire breath and commands an army of ravenous pigeons, then you wouldn’t be allowed into this hotel. A man is chased by a bulldozer on a construction site in the opening scene – this is the extent of the fears that the characters have here. Things that would have been on set anyway and they make use of them!

Apart from said bulldozer chase and eventual decapitation (come on, it’s the opening scene and these films always open with a bang), there’s little gore to be had in the film as most of the deaths take place off screen. You see not only does the slime make it’s victims imagine they are facing their fears, the film makes it’s audience imagine that there’s a lot more going on than there actually is.

Something Beneath takes a while to get going and even then it never really gets into any sort of gear. It only picks up in the final third when a group of people finally head down into the sewers to confront the slime creature, which has now grown itself a head and tentacles and is brought to unrealistic life by some shoddy CGI work. Cue the obligatory climactic tussle between good and evil which culminates in possibly the worst way to kill off a monster in many a year.

Something Beneath has also got Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo, as a priest! What sort of moronic casting director made that decision? I’m not knocking Sorbo as he’s the best thing in here by a mile, giving us character a lot of depth, warmth and likeability. He’s turned into a reliable hand in TV movies and is coming along reasonably well as an actor. But a 6′ 3″ mountain of a man as a priest? I’m not too sure that casting a PRIEST as the MALE ROMANTIC LOVE INTEREST in a horror film was such a good idea either. Apart from an irritating Paris Hilton wannabe, the cast and characters aren’t exactly bottom grade junk. It’s a pity that there just do little other than talk about what is going on and then do a lot of wandering around the hotel looking for clues.

 

Something Beneath is a below mediocre TV movie which is almost total rubbish if it hadn’t been for Kevin Sorbo. Not content with saving the lives of damsels in distress and desperate villagers in Hercules, he’s now saving dire TV movies just by starring in them. However unless you have a desperate urge to watch every film he’s in or have a crush on him, then go and get your gooey, slimy creature feature frights from somewhere else.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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