Trapped with the Coal Miner's Daughter
George Marsh (Jeff Fahey) has worked down the mines all of his life but with ill health having finally caught up with him he is now having to retire. It is why his daughter Sam (Kelly Noonan) is in town, having left to study environmental law in the city, as the guys are throwing him a retirement party. It is whilst at the party that Sam rises to the bait that she couldn't do a shift in the mine and agrees that she will head down with them the next day for her dad's final shift. But it is whilst down there that the shaft collapses with some killed in the crush and those who survive trapped, slowly going crazy a their oxygen supply runs out, something which happened back in the 1920s when nineteen miners were buried alive.
"Beneath" is the sort of movie which is either going to really grab you or just leave you bored. The reason being is that this is a horror movie based on fear rather than scary monsters or graphic violence, although it has some graphic scenes in there. As such it is one of those movies which to really succeed needs you to feel like you are there with Sam and the other miners as they find themselves trapped deep beneath the surface with oxygen running out and tensions rising as strange things appear to happen.
What does that all mean? Well "Beneath" wants us to connect with the character of Sam, the fish out of water in a mine who even before entering shows signs of fear of heading deep underground in to a claustrophobic tunnel. And as such we are meant to see the disaster from her eyes as she witnesses even experienced miners start to panic when disaster strikes with some dealing with the situation better than others. But what we also get is the effect of oxygen starvation and the way the mind starts playing tricks on you, yes the power of the brain and imagination delivering its own horror thanks to imagination running wild. The thing is that unless you connect with this "Beneath" ends up a movie you just watch and wait for the next moment of tension, shock and horror.
What this all boils down to is that for me "Beneath" isn't a bad movie and it has some nice ideas when it comes to the effect of oxygen starvation and the power of your own imagination. But I didn't feel like it successfully drew me in to the situation to make the horror of it really come to life.