Beneath (2013) Review


Rated R

90 min

Directed by: Larry Fessenden

Written by: Tony Daniel, Brian D. Smith


Beneath follows the typical formula of six teenagers going somewhere they shouldn’t go to party and celebrate and then suffer brutal deaths because of this. Only this time they decide to rowboat to an island and get attacked by a giant catfish.

The characters all attended high school together and various power struggles break out as their friendships are tested. They begin to decide who deserves to be sacrificed as they fight their way back to shore.

Everyone sing, “That’s what friends are for!”



Good idea – The idea of good friends turning on each other and voting on whom to sacrifice for the rest of the group’s survival is a great one.

Great use of creature – This movie is more of a morality tale then a creature feature. While the creature presents a threat, the real conflict is between the characters. The giant catfish is a force of nature like the zombies in The Walking Dead and the human beings are the real monsters. Just about all the characters are killed because of other people.

Solid ending – Thanks to Mark Margolis (of Breaking Bad fame) everyone gets what he or she deserved. If this had been left out the movie would have fared worse.



− Cheesy looking creature – There is nothing threatening about a gigantic catfish, especially one that looks so fake and artificial. It didn’t even look intimidating when attacking people and there was no cool gore or violence to be seen.

– Unlikable characters – At about the halfway point of this film I quickly realized that I hated all of the remaining characters, especially the last three that were some of the worst human beings I’ve ever seen. This was especially true with Kitty the main girl who was just a stupid whore. The audience has to give a shit about what happens to them and we just don’t. Three words… human meat puppets.

To many plot holes – Johnny, who at first appears to be our protagonist, apparently knows about the creature and has a pendant that protects him from being eaten by it. This is never explained or talked about really; it would have been nice to know more. Also Johnny and Kitty’s relationship is a mystery, did they used to date?

– Bad dialogue/acting – Any tension and human drama that happened inside the rowboat usually resulted in bad dialogue exchanges and when they had good things to say the acting usually faltered. This can be blamed on the low budget, but a solid script could have resolved some of these issues and it wouldn’t have affected the budget.


Beneath was nothing special. The idea that the human characters are more threatening then the creature is a novel one, but the execution here is lackluster. My suggestion is to watch the second segment in Creepshow 2 “The Raft” which is an hour shorter and much better.

Beneath could have made a big splash in the water, but instead it is fart bubbles made by a fat guy in a hot tub.