On his last day of work, George Marsh (Jeff Fahey) brings his daughter Samantha (Kelly Noonan) to see his job. George’s job is as a career miner, finally retiring; and Samantha is an environmental lawyer who has never agreed with his job. But whatever kind of conflict you may hope to see between these two diverse family members never happens when the roof caves in on them in the depths of the mines and the horror begins. Other than having to survive the tragic collapse—a horrific enough thought on its own—they have to escape or combat a mysterious inhuman thing that is lurking in the mines as well. It’s a straight from the headlines premise mixed with that of 2005’s The Descent. But it does not handle the mysterious monster lurking in the mines nearly as well (read: horrifically, frighteningly) as The Descent did, and this aspect distracts from the “real events” on which it is supposedly based.
The film and the DVD itself perpetuate the idea that this specific story is based on true events. While similar tragic mine collapses have happened of late, none bear a semblance to the story being presented. Instead, the packaging and special features do their best to lend a sense of realism to the events in the film, with featurettes showing news coverage and so forth. While some of this comes off as mildly confusing, it is about the only clever thing this film does. Otherwise it comes off as an over-explained imitation horror film.
Aside from the featurettes meant to ground the film in realism—“Breaking News Reports” and “Newreel: ‘The 19’”—there are specials featuring interviews with the cast and crew and their research for the film: “Lessons from Below: Miner Education” and “From Script to Screen Writer’s Featurette.” You can also listen to various cast and crew members in individual interview featurettes, or you can watch a feature commentary by director Ben Ketai, writers Patrick J. Doody and Chris Valenziano, and producers Nick Phillips and Kelly Martin Wagner.
"Beneath" is on sale October 28, 2014 and is not rated. Horror. Directed by Ben Ketai. Written by Patrick J. Doody, Chris Valenziano. Starring Jeff Fahey, Joey Kern, Kelly Noonan, Mark L Young.