Genius Products // 2008 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 9th, 2008
Evil lurks in the most unlikely of places.
I had a bad feeling going into this from the first scene, when a construction worker was unable to outrun a bulldozer. It just gets worse from there.
An ecological conference held at a brand new conference center gets off to an eerie start when the keynote speaker is sucked into the ground by sentient snot. That bulldozer escapade? That happened a year ago, and that very same goo was directly related to the construction worker's death. But the fat, greedy white guy who owns the property said "Screw it" and had the project go on as planned.
Now, with the mucus running amok, driving people bonkers and leading them to deadly ends, the responsibility of solving the mystery and defeating the bizarre substance -- of course -- falls to an event coordinator (Natalie Brown) and a macho Episcopalian priest (Kevin Sorbo).
Here we are with your daily, disposable made-for-TV horror movie. Instead of crazed bears, sea monsters, boas or pythons, the Big Bad this go-round is hallucinogenic slime. Are you intrigued yet? No? Then maybe you should just move on to the next review because this one's not going to get much better.
Look, this isn't scary, funny, clever or remotely interesting. Actually, there is one part where a lady with all black eyes lies in a bathtub. That was okay. And then she shows up again all of a sudden for a cheap jump scare. That pretty much represents the sum total of all the shocks to be had here.
Which is a big fat shame, because horror movies about amorphous killer blobs and goop have a decent shot at creeping me the @#$% out. The 80s remake of The Blob. Disturbing and weird! But Something Beneath is no Blob. In fact, the slime makes for an aggressively boring heavy. We're told about two-thirds of the way during the Mandatory Exposition by the Whacked-Out Rogue Scientist that the goo is a new species, apparently sentient and consciously killing people. Quote: "It's a massive fluid multi-celled entity." Sounds awesome, but, in practice, this fearsome slayer of men merely drips. (Except for the finale, when it turns into a batch of poorly-articulated CGI.) The slime tentacles grabbing the woman on the disc cover? Nope, that scene isn't anywhere in the movie. Same goes for the goopy hand reaching out of the snot reservoir on the back of the case.
To be fair, the creature does most of its killing through some "organic hallucinogen" (their words) that makes people see their worst fears. And that means the deaths are fairly muted, mainly gunshots fired off by a psycho and so forth. The most bodacious kill comes at the very beginning when that idiot construction worker gets decapitated. Gore-hounds need not apply.
Finally -- and consider this your SPOILER warning -- I've got to talk about the ending, specifically, how the mutant killer phlegm ball is neutralized. So with our heroes hanging on for dear life on a broken catwalk, and the slime monster waiting below, one of them utters a New Age prayer about the circle of life (not making this up) and according to the priest, the creature forgave them.
Zero extras join a decent 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and a 2.0 stereo audio mix.
The reason the main character was a priest. My guess is purely for this line: "Preacher -- get the flock out of here."
The odd discoloration of the globule you just hacked up into a Kleenex is more terrifying and interesting than this movie.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated