Under The Bed
Reviewed by Andy
There are two ways that a tale of a teenage boy still scared of what may lie under the bed could be taken; one is to take a psychologically-focussed thriller approach examining the teen’s mindset and guilt that could be creating his experiences, and the other is to go for full-on supernatural horror with gore, monsters and alternate worlds.
Slightly confusingly, writer Eric Stoltze and director Steven C Miller chose both, and while both make independently have lots of positives, the combined result is to the detriment of both and makes little sense. It’s a bit like Mirrors that started as a serious and creepy horror before going Jack-Bauer-meets-the-supernatural, except the flip here is over an hour in so feels a bit more cheating to the viewer.
The bulk of the film features a nicely-written relationship between troubled teen Neal (Jonny Weston) and his younger brother Paulie (Gattlin Griffith) as he moves back home two years after their mother’s death. There is some good interplay between the two, and some good tension whilst keeping enough sleep deprivation and childhood thinking to maintain mystery in what is going on. Then the final third has a much faster pace, nicely designed creatures and a stylish under-bed realm that looks great. Unfortunately there’s no natural flow between one “subfilm” and the other, with dialogue suddenly seeming out of character and a loss of sense of consequence.
Had either portion been expanded it would have been better, but as is the result is confusing and a little frustrating – though the unintentional laughs that result from the switch still allow entertainment! Does make a good argument for buying a divan bed though… Just don’t think too much about what the creature must have been created from though with its look taken into account *shudder* **1/2