Beneath Still Waters (2007)
Directed by Brian Yuzna

Starring Charlotte Salt Raquel Mereno

Yuzna's long direct-to-video horror career has produced some classics ("The Dentist"), some not-so-classic ("Silent Night Deadly Night 4") and some downright horribles ("Faust"). His latest, "Beneath Still Waters," falls into the middle zone. It has some good moments, some good ideas but ultimately falls flat. The flick has an interesting concept, however.

The film opens in the 1960s, when two boys are playing around in a Spanish town about to be flooded out of existence with the introduction of a new dam to the area. They stumble upon a group of tied-up Satanists, led by a Tall Man-like character with a bony face. He's tied up, and one of the boys foolishly lets him go. The boy is subsequently cannibalized by him. The other, nerdier boy, gets the hell out of there.

Flash forward 40 years. Hottie Charlotte Salt has a tense relationship with her TV reporter Mom (played by Raquel Mereno, also seen in the superior "Dagon") who is covering the 40th anniversary of the town dam. Both mother and daughter also happen to have roots in the town, as Charlotte's granddad was around back when the Satanists were drowned alive.

Needless to say, bad things start happening when one of the young gal's friends' boyfriends dies in the man-made lake. As an investigation follows, everyone seems to get involved, including a deep-sea diving journalist that has the hots for the girl's TV journalist mom. A mystery unravels about the history of the town and it's Satan-worshipping problem that is actually pretty fun to watch unfold. Not too surprisingly, there's a curse or something like that related to the Satanists, and the town's 40th anniversary celebration is about to be hit by it. The celebration turns into an orgy of sorts. Meanwhile, the Tall Man character begins controlling Salt and her guilt-ridden mother is left trying to win the daughter back.

In short, the film's a bit of a mess, with some good sequences (liked the opening scene, although it seemed like the budget was being stretched a little, with overuse of CGI) and the presence of Salas to make things a bit more interesting. Not as horrible as some of the direct-to-DVD stuff hitting shelves, but a weak movie all the same. "beyond" me.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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