“Beneath the Darkness” opens tonight in theaters around the country, and its typical Southern Gothic thriller-style works just great with Dennis Quaid, who does an amazing job in a Jekyll vs. Hyde type role that was reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s tales, which would often start out one way, build suspense and drama and then make a twist at the very end. Critics may be bashing this film, but Quaid and “Friday Night Lights” actress Aimee Teegarden are magnificent in this story, that kept my attention for the entire film.
The story is not one that is original, but I loved the take on it. Having Quaid play a sinister guy who was not suspected by the town, but by young people of being a maniac is a role that he managed to pull off without any trouble at all. What is better than a guy who runs a funeral home, that is creepy, sad and scary all in the same breath? It’s definitely something that the town’s young people pay closer attention to, and eventually learn a bit more about the guy than they wanted to know. The film also doesn’t waste time utilizing stereotypical behavior, which is a side of the film I enjoyed a lot. Most reviewers want to know the story and as if they would write it, and if it is any twists or turns, they hate it, because they want to be Masters of the universe. This film won’t allow that, as it is definitely things that occur no one expected or suspected of happening.
When the film opens, the school kids all get a reference of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a great classic from Edgar Allan Poe. The writers of this film wanted the moviegoer to feel sympathy or empathy for Quaid’s bad guy. At times that works, at other times it does not. Perhaps that was the mission of the director and writers, but I think the one thing that could have played out better is if the audience got some of what it wanted, brutal truth and not a bad guy that we oftentimes wanted to cry for. Then again, Quaid is always such a great actor, maybe that was the reason why viewers found themselves wanting to make an excuse for his character now and then?
The film definitely had some high points, and a few low points, but it was not the worst I’ve seen. Highlight Hollywood gives “Beneath Darkness” Two and a Half of Five Stars. Mostly for Dennis Quaid’s performance.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photograph Courtesy: BeneaththeDarknessmovie.com
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