SciFridays: “Beast Beneath” (2011)

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Lionsgate

Baddie – Lawyers.

Lesson – If a movie requires you to take notes to keep things straight…you’re working too hard.

So this week I watched Beast Beneath because I was told (by Netflix) that it was a treasure hunting story with a creature hunting the hunters.

What it was, really, was an hour and a half of dry, boring, shoddily captured film. Despite this movie being filmed in 2011, the whole thing looks very very very blurry/amateur-esque, almost like a filter was liberally applied. The biggest indicator, for me, of a small budget, is the technology.

Now, I’m willing to accept, because of the timeline weirdness, that the ‘film’ takes place in the late 90’s, but still. The technology doesn’t quite match up. I’m also pretty sure there aren’t a bunch of flipphones with Facebook, but, that could just be me.

I’m going to try and sum up the plot, but it’s a little weird.

Don Antonio Feliz dies of smallpox, and tries to bequeath his estate to his sister and niece. His friends boggle the will and steal it, so the niece curses them. For some reason this means that the Don and his new favorite demon dog can haunt the park where his estate was for a couple of dozen years until his great great niece finds the treasure. This entire story is being recanted by a father to his son in an attempt to bond during a camping trip. Yeah I don’t know. It’s a pretty unnecessary part. The confusing part is that the movie starts with a couple making out and subsequently dying, then moves to the father/son, then immediately switches to the tale of the niece trying to find the treasure with no indication that this has happened.

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Lionsgate

On top of this, there’s a skeevy professor trying to find the treasure. And at the end, you find out that Angelina is using her treasure to make a movie of the whole incident, called The Wrath.

So, all in all, the prosthetics work is okay. The creature isn’t spectacular  but it isn’t painful to look at. Kind of an interesting beast, visually speaking. It isn’t really utilized very well, and all of the killing scenes look like gentle nuzzles.

Most of my issues with this movie are with technical consistencies. A fisherman fishes up a hand and it’s covered in blood/bleeding, which is strange considering it’s been submerged…The police wear t-shirts that say ‘Police’ and jeans, and they do a terrible job searching for bodies.

The rest of my issues lie within the dialogue. It’s really bad. Like, extraordinarily bad. This is an actual exchange:

Father: “Now, how the story ends. Well, actually son, it never really ends.”

Son: “What do you mean?”

Father: “Well, let me finish telling you the story.”

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Lionsgate

/facepalm. Just…awful. People speak awkwardly the whole movie, and everyone is weirdly explicit. I suppose that’s because no one listens and then does whatever they want.

There’s a character, Homeless George Abernathy, who’s half-pirate, half-hippie, all homeless, and he gets visited by the ghost. Yup. Additionally, everyone that Angelina and Derrick (niece and boyfriend) meet knows more about everything. Including their Asian friend, who can apparently read an obscure dialect of Castellan Spanish.

HOWEVER- easily the most confusing part of the whole movie is that, at the end, Don Antonio gets to ascend to heaven, and states that he can be at peace. He sends the dog away. It’s very final.

So when the dad finishes the story by stating that “He might still be around this park right – now!” and then the father/son are eaten by the dog creature, I am confused. It’s so random.

Of COURSE the grad student is doing the work.

Lionsgate
Of COURSE the grad student is doing the work.

Also, fun fact, the whole thing takes place around Bronson Cave, more popularly known as the Batcave from the Adam West series.

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