Beneath Still Waters – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Brian Yuzna

Cast

Michael McKell Dan Quarry
Maquel Meroño Teresa Borgia
Charlotte Salt Clara Borgia
Patrick Gordon Mordecai Salas

DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 100 Minutes

The Movie

In the early sixties, Marinbad, a small village in Spain was flooded so that the world could be rid of its evil spirits. Not only would the spirits be gone but also the evil-doers that worshiped Satan and all other dark things. The town’s elders thought simply flooding the village and drowning Satan’s followers – so casually chained up in a church – that all the evil would be gone for good. Little did they know that two young boys would unknowingly interfere and ruin their plans.

Fast forward to the future and Marinbad is now a peaceful village and all set to celebrate its fortieth birthday. The feeling in the air is a good one as the festivities are nothing but fun times to be had by all on this joyous occasion. Local residents Clara and Susana are lying on a beach, which was created by the great flood by the way, and enjoying the sun as Susana’s boyfriend Antonio plays around in the water. Clara is a bit more cautious of the water due to her grandfather’s death some time ago.

Antonio didn’t take Clara’s fear of not going in the water very seriously for he ended up becoming the next victim dying a very mysterious death in the water. The lake in Marinbad ends up taking life after life in this small village and no one can quite figure out why. And since a celebration is going on, nobody really puts much thought into finding out why except for Teresa, Clara’s mother.

The townspeople seem to be doing everything they can to avoid bringing up the past and finding out what hidden meanings are behind the random deaths; the sheriff and mayor would rather just the town to be peaceful, and for people to live as if there is nothing wrong. Teresa, being the hard-nosed reporter that she is, finds Dan, a photojournalist, and decides to take matters into her own hands. This may be the biggest story of their careers and they are going to get to the bottom of it. The only problem is that the satanic leaders may all return before too long and end up taking them and all the townspeople to the bottom of the lake instead and retaking their evil town of Marinbad.

With Beneath Still Waters you are going to get nothing more then your cheesy slasher flick. That is, with a few minor tweaks here and there. Instead of a particular killer such as Freddy or Jason, you get gory murders in the water for the first half of the film and then the satanic people come back so now you know who was doing it. As if you didn’t the whole time anyway.

But believe it or not, there is actually a lot more plot to this film then I ever imagined there would be. The back story with the flooding of the town is quite original. Especially showing how the evil leaders avoided death thanks to a few ignorant young boys. Then having the main center of the town in the future be the lake that was caused by the flood is rather ingenious. Throw in the bad guys wanting to come back and take their town back, while wanting to have a few new recruits and it really is a good story for a horror film. Given some more time and obviously a bigger budget, this film could have been very good.

Needless to say, all the other horror clichés are there in full effect. There are hot women, stupid characters, partial nudity from time to time, and a bunch of people who would rather ignore everything weird going on and risk dying so that things can go as planned. Throw in the occasional gore from time to time and you have your film. Not bad, but has a lot of potential that was wasted.

The Video

The film is seen in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and looks alright, I guess. It’s supposed to be a dark film considering it takes place mostly at night and in the water so it’s not like you are looking for a lot of bright colors. But the visuals themselves just aren’t very clear or good-looking, and it just doesn’t come across like it should. For a horror flick that’s not supposed to be worth much, they should have at least made it look better. The best part has to be seeing Dan underwater where it looks like he was photoshopped right onto a canvas.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds perfectly fine. The sound really kicks in at times making for some scenes more intense then I think they actually intended for them to be, which makes them better actually. Overall, it was rather crisp, clear and definitely saved parts of the film.

Special Features

TrailersAfter Dark HorrorFest, Diary Of A Cannibal, Gamebox 1.0, Alien Invasion Arizona

The Inside Pulse

Cheese glorious cheese is the only way to describe Beneath Still Waters. I would have added an extra side of cheese but there is a lot of promise to this movie that you can just tell is there but never brought out into the open. So I give them credit for trying; but they surely didn’t try on the special features giving us absolutely nothing except some trailers which Lionsgate has been guilty of doing a lot recently. Nothing much to see here so not worth a buy and you can surely find something else to waste your time with at your local video store. And for God sakes, stay out the damn water!

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Beneath Still Waters
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

3.5
THE VIDEO

5
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

.5
REPLAY VALUE

3
OVERALL
3.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)