What You Need To Know:
BENEATH THE DARKNESS is clearly low budget, but it does have some tense, suspenseful scenes. As the mad killer, Dennis Quaid is funny and scary at the same time. There’s lots of foul language in BENEATH THE DARKNESS, however. Also, the moral elements aren’t strong enough to make this a truly memorable thriller, even though the villain is defeated.
(B, LLL, VV, S, N, M) Light moral worldview about a group of teenagers battling a mad killer while learning some lessons of their own; at least 43 obscenities (including two or three “f” words), three strong profanities, and six light profanities; strong scary violence includes man hit with shovel, man buried alive, man dances with corpse he’s preserved, man pushes teenager down stairs and then stomps hard on his face to kill him, people knocked out, teenager hit with hovel and man hit with shovel, man hides teenage girl in coffin, teenager wounded by rifle, teenager’s wound sewn up; no sex but brief teenage kissing; brief upper male nudity in hospital; no alcohol; no smoking; and, teenagers break into house, man hides corpse of wife, teenager helps another teenager escape police custody.
BENEATH THE DARKNESS is a macabre thriller about a group of teenagers in a small town battling a mad killer who buries his victims alive. The movie features some intense suspenseful moments and a creepy, crazy, but compelling, performance by Dennis Quaid as the killer, but otherwise is just okay. There’s also a lot of foul language as the story’s macabre situations unfold.
The movie opens on a dark country road in Smithville, Texas. The town’s funeral mortician, Ely Vaughn, confronts his dead wife’s lover. Ely forces him to dig up her recent grave. The man is surprised to find the coffin empty. Ely hits him with the shovel and buries him in the coffin, even though he’s still alive.
Two years later, local teenagers spread stories about Ely’s home, from which he plies his trade, is haunted. Three friends, Travis, Danny, Abby, and Brian, the star quarterback, decide to investigate. They see the supposedly grieving widower, Ely, dancing in the parlor with a mysterious woman.
While Travis stands guard outside, the other three wait for Ely to leave to break into the house and investigate. When they do, they find Ely’s carefully preserved dead wife lying in the bed upstairs, but Ely suddenly comes home and chases all but Danny out of the house.
Travis goes back inside to get Danny, but he sees Ely throw Danny down the stairs and stomp on his head. The sheriff doesn’t believe his story, however. So, it’s up to Travis and his two remaining friends to expose Ely for the murderer he is.
BENEATH THE DARKNESS is clearly low budget, but it does have some tense, suspenseful scenes as the mad killer tries to do away with Travis and Abby. As the mad killer, Dennis Quaid is very funny and scary at the same time.
There’s lots of foul language and scary moments in BENEATH THE DARKNESS, however. Also, the moral elements aren’t strong enough to make this a truly memorable thriller. The evil killer is defeated, though, without a whole lot of gore, so it’s not a total loss.