"Beneath Still Waters"
Okay, everybody remain
calm. This is a Brian Yuzna movie, and that means one of two things.
It will be either amazing, or it will be godawful. There are no
mediocre Brian Yuzna movies that I know of, yet, so brace yourself.
And what Yuzna sets
out for us this time looks fairly familiar. The village of Marienbad
in northern Spain has had a whole lot of unpleasant stuff going
on in it (if you're thinking "Dagon" at this point you're
in good company--I sure did, and it scared me half to death).
But anyway, the Spanish government is about to flood the village
and surrounding valley, sealing the evil away under several million
gallons of water.
But as you've probably
gathered, it didn't do the job, and now what's haunting the village
of Marinbad is poised to get out. And when it does, all hell will
break loose. Granted, that sounds way too much like "Dagon"
for anyone's comfort, but I've got to admit, they do a pretty
solid job of things. They pack just enough vague warnings and
ominous signs into things to make you wonder just what, exactly,
it is that's coming out of the shadowy depths.
Even better, the explanations
are just gradual enough to hold interest. Not so slow as to be
boring, and not so fast as to give everything away, but at a decent
clip that keeps you watching. Better yet, that keeps you glad
And as if that weren't
good enough, finally, FINALLY, the true value of special effects
are shown. Not as a purpose, like the Matrix movies did so often
with their burly brawls and such, but as an aside, a little extra
spice to add to the narrative. Yuzna uses some incredible effects
work from Fantastic Factory to add flavor to his work--just enough,
mind you--and the judiciousness with which they are used is just
as much a credit to Yuzna's work as their overall quality. They're
fantastic, and used only to best effect.
The ending is an excellent
display of the celebrating town's descent into madness, followed
up by lots of demon-blasting goodness. The loose ends are tied
up nicely as well, and that makes for no small satisfaction. Even
better, there's a note of suspense here. For once, the ending
is not telegraphed, but there is at least one moment when all
And even better...a
twist ending that comes out of nowhere. Watch the credits to get
the whole picture. Alteast, the last few seconds.
The special features
includes English and Spanish subtitles, plus trailers for the
After Dark Horrorfest, "Gravedancers", "Unrest",
"Diary of a Cannibal", "Gamebox 1.0", "Alien
All in all, it's another
real winner from Brian Yuzna, proving once again that the man
is clinically incapable of doing mediocre movies.
by Brian Yuzna
by Matthew Costello, Mike Hostench, Angel Sala
Michael McKell, Raquel Merono, Charlotte Salt, Patrick Gordon
by Julio Fernandez
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