Directed by Steven C. Miller
I don’t believe there are too many people out there who, as little kids, had some level of fear about some creature that might be hiding under the bed, in the closet, or anywhere where shadows can hide it from the light. I personally never had a fear of anything in my closet or under my bed, but the basement in the house I grew up in was a different story, which is odd since I spent a fair mount of time there during daylight hours. But I digress.
Today I’m talking about Under The Bed, a movie that explores that fear of the unknown and whether or not it might be right underneath you while you sleep. Eldest son Neal Hausman (Jonny Weston) returns home after two years of living with a relative, after a fire took the life of his mother. He now has to deal with the awkwardness of talking to people he hasn’t seen in years, as well as his new stepmother who he’s meeting for the first time. However, those aren’t his biggest issues.
Before being sent away, he believed that there was a monster living under his bed. As a result, he barely slept, and went just a little bit nutty. The thing is, not only was there something indeed hiding under Neal’s bed, it stuck around after he left and began terrorizing his little brother Paulie (Gattlin Griffith). As you might expect, his father and stepmother don’t believe either Neal or Paulie, and thus the two brothers have to deal with the problem themselves. They manage to fend off the boogeyman for a time, but eventually the creature takes a much more proactive role in dealing with them and everyone that they are in contact with.
Under The Bed has a few issues, but all in all it wasn’t too bad a time. Acting was pretty solid all-around, although most of the characters I didn’t really care for. The father Terry (Peter Holden) especially was very grating on the nerves, as he spent the majority of screen time berating and screaming at Neal. It’s like if the guy stayed too calm for too long he’d friggin die, like some kind of emotional version of the bus in Speed. I felt petty bad for the stepmother Angela (Mussetta Vander). She tries really had to be good to Neal and Paulie, but while Paulie seems to like her, Neal is cold and stays pretty distant from her emotionally. I have to commend the performances of Griffith and Weston. They have great chemistry and you really feel like they are actual brothers when on screen together.
Things are slow for the first third of the movie, with nothing significant happening until about the 40 minute mark. Until that time you have to deal with the aforementioned awkwardness that Neal is suffering around the town and in his own house. But when things do pick up, it’s pretty good stuff. There is very little CGI that I noticed, and the boogeyman is a man in a rubber suit, which of course I was happy to see. Once you got to see the creature in it’s entirety, it looked pretty impressive too, though I couldn’t help but see a very slight resemblance to Pumpkinhead (the body more so than the head). All of the blood and gore appeared to be practical as well, which had me saying “YAY!!” on the inside.
But I did mention that there were a few negatives, didn’t I? Well, there aren’t that many really. Aside from having to deal with the loud ravings of Neal and Paulie’s dad, the last ten minutes of the movie get straight up weird, in a similar way to how Insidious got weird late in the movie. You’ll have to watch for yourselves to see. And the ending was straight up “WTF?” in how the monster was dealt with. Although, it wasn’t the first time I saw that method used. Hopefully some of you will know what I’m talking about there. As well, the music was a little bit…off. You get seriously over-dramatic musical numbers for simple things like pulling into a driveway, going to do a load of laundry, and a montage of making a makeshift flashlight/broomstick combination. It’s not that the music was bad in itself, it just wasn’t appropriate for what it was used for here.
I suggest you try your best to get through the first 40 minutes of character and story development and the dad who has trouble keeping his voice under 150 decibels, because the rest of Under The Bed really isn’t that bad. You can find it to rent in RedBox, On Demand, Netflix, you name it. So there’s no excuse for at least giving it a shot. Until next time, rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3 out of 5 stars