So, this morning I watched the 2010 Chad Feehan as writer / director film, Beneath the Dark. The synopsis sounded good, but I tried it mostly because Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Sopranos, Guys With Kids) was in it. The film also stars, Josh Stewart, who has been in a number of good films and TV shows as well.
Okay. The basic idea is that Paul (Stewart) and Adrienne (Sigler) are headed to a wedding. A guy from Paul’s college frat is tying the knot. Growing weary on the way, and a little frisky, Paul runs the vehicle of the road. It’s decided they will not push it and land a hotel room for the night.
The Roy Hotel is run by Frank (Chris Browning). He’s a step-and-a-half above Anthony Perkins on a creepy-meter, and the hotel is slightly more modern than the Bates Motel. Once tucked away in a room, Adrienne is still frisky (and while there is no nudity, it is quite hot), only Paul has too much on his mind and cannot perform. Frustrated he heads to the connected diner for coffee where he meets a Man (Afemo Omilami) who claims to be the Son of God.
The Man certainly knows a lot about Paul, and Paul’s soiled past, and aside from conversation, he tries to have Paul answer some simple questions . . . What Do You Believe In?
I can’t forget Frank’s wife, Sandy (Angela Featherstone). She is not a happy woman. Sandy stalks the bars looking for company. Isn’t hard for her to find what she wants. Not bra-less in a thin white tank-top. She shows up here and there. (And is quite sensual in a barfly kind of way). Seems her sole (or soul) purpose is to torment the loser-ness of her husband.
There is always homemade cherry pie and fresh coffee. There is a jukebox–while outdated with its selection–that is always ready to play.
Beneath the Dark is nothing new. Sadly, I knew the end of the story at the very beginning of the movie. There have been a flood of “identical” big-screen and direct to DVD films with the same ending over the last four years. I could name them. But if you see one — then I have ruined the ending for the rest. I hate that. Hate it. Because the story was as solid as the acting. Both I enjoyed. The dialogue was crisp enough. The filming was simple but effective.
If I were to assume you saw none of the other films with the same ending — then this is an excellent movie. If not, then this is a mediocre film. Since the Beneath the Dark is from 2010 — and we are on the cusp of 2014, I am going to assume the ladder and for that, give the movie 3 out of 5 Tombstones.