Beneath Still Waters

Beneath Still Waters

Beneath Still Waters (2005)

Forty years after the village of Marienbad was submerged by the building of a dam, an ancient evil threatens to resurface and claim the lands around the still lake.

The village of Marienbad is being evacuated for the building of a dam which will submerge the village under a new lake.  Two young boys, however, unwittingly free an evil that was meant to be trapped in the drowned town and allow its evil to fester for a generation until it is ready to rise again.  Now, the village on the shores and that lake has fallen victim to a rash of disappearances that seem to herald the coming of something greater and darker than anyone could imagine.  As the evil grows, more of the town falls under its sway.  Until only Teresa, a local journalist (and daughter of the dam’s builder), and a freelance photographer who came to film the sunken town may be left to unravel the evil which threatens the town and has Teresa’s own family squarely in its sights.

This film has gotten a lot of hate and I don’t really understand why.  It’s not one of the great horror films ever created.  The acting is shoddy for the most part and the English dubbing is bad.  The special effects are mostly amateurish, although the underwater cinematography is surprisingly good in light of the film’s other technical aspects.   The film is rarely scary and the primary villain is rather uninteresting when he finally appears, but his story and motivation are clear and intriguing.  The premise, however, is interesting and the Lovecraftian mood is palpable.  This isn’t a jump out of your seat sort of horror flick, but it definitely is good in the “dread” department.

Fans of Lovecraft will once again appreciate the efforts of director Brian Yuzna, who previously produced “Dagon” – which remains one of the best Lovecraft adaptations.  While not written by Lovecraft, this story is clearly framed through that same dreadful lens and Yuzna brings his obvious appreciation for it to this project.  Overall, the film delivers a bit beneath its promise, still achieves some solid creepiness, and the tone is never watered down.

 

Stars: 3.5/5

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