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Beneath Still Waters (Widescreen)

2.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael McKell, Raquel Meroño, Charlotte Salt, Patrick Gordon, Manuel Manquiña
  • Directors: Brian Yuzna
  • Writers: Matthew Costello, Mike Hostench, Ángel Sala
  • Producers: Brian Yuzna, Antonia Nava, Carlos Fernández, José Luis Jiménez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MRNWJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beneath Still Waters (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 11, 2007
Format: DVD
Beneath Still Waters (Brian Yuzna, 2005)

I'd probably have passed the one up altogether were it not based on a Matthew Costello novel. I had no idea when I sat down to watch it that it was directed by Stuart Gordon protege Brian Yuzna, who's done some very interesting stuff over the years (though, to be fair, some not-so-interesting stuff as well). Yuzna, as Gordon before him (with Dagon), heads over to Spain, presumably to make a cheaper movie, casts a few minor personages on their way up and some established Spanish stars, and injects as much Lovecraftian silliness into this manuscript as he possibly can. But for the production values and Yuzna's slightly less-steady hand, this might as well be a Gordon flick, and I mean that as praise.

In 1965, the small Spanish town of Marienbad is to be flooded when a dam is built to supply power to the new neighboring town, Desbaria. Two children are investigating the town before it gets flooded, and they discover something horrific-- four people chained in the basement of one of the houses. One of them sets the leader free and is killed for his troubles; the other flees, retreating into insanity for the rest of his days. Fast-forward to the fortieth anniversary of the dam, and Desbaria is putting on a celebration. It's drawn Dan Quarry, a journalist (Michael McKell, of the long-running daytime soap Doctors) who's doing a story on the sunken town, and Teresa Borgia (Raquel Merono, who showed up-- surprise!-- in Dagon), daughter of the last mayor of Marienbad and the first mayor of Desbaria, a plucky news reporter. (For there must always be a plucky news reporter.) Teresa's daughter, Clara (Charlotte Salt, of the upcoming Beowulf), London born and bred, is desperately bored with the small town. Until all hell breaks loose, that is.
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Format: DVD
European horror movies have a particular brand of charm that makes them unique. Only in a European horror film will you see a hot blonde mulling over the possibility of life after death as she takes a dip in a skin-tight swimsuit. European horror, it seems, wants to be philosophical and promiscuous at the same time.

It begins with two boys, Teo and Luis, who stumble across the flooded remains of an abandoned church. Venturing inside, they find people tied up and in obvious distress, so poor Teo does what anyone might do - release them. Big mistake, as this frees Mordecai Sales (Patrick Gordon, doing his best Julian Beck impression), who is some sort of demonically-powered cultist. Mordecai enjoys getting really intimate with his victims - you could say he's fond of deep kissing, if that deep kiss happens to involve ripping your jaw open and biting your tongue.

It's pretty clear from the beginning that the normal taboos American horror films avoid, like mutilating children, won't hinder Spanish producer Brian Yuzna. And in that regard Beneath Still Waters is eager to shock, be it bizarre orgy scenes, over-the-top demonic worship by priests and nuns, or priests and nuns molesting goats in an orgy scene. American cinema did all this in the 70s; if you see something like this nowadays it's usually played with a wink. Yuzna plays it straight though, which gives the whole film a surreal retro vibe.

Forty years later, the town of Marienbad is celebrating the anniversary of the Desbaria Dam. Thanks to the Dam the town is dry, but Desbaria is forgotten, submerged by the floodwaters and long forgotten. Enter journalist Dan Quarry (Michael McKell) and news reporter Teresa Borgia (Raquel Merono).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was another strange offering. I think I liked it. I can say I did not hate it. Near the end i was hoping they would get around to it already and wrap whatever it was they were doing up, so I was ready for it to be done, which means I did not like it a lot. It had its elements. A creepy vibe. As someone else said in a review, water can be creepy. Dark foreboding pools of murk. The idea of a rotted village enconsed underwater, with chained corpses and even a cemetery down there forevermore. The old drowned village gag.

This movie had some silly gore, but at the same time they were scenes that will stick in my head, so they worked in that regard. Some of the characters were good, others were wooden and silly. The police official for the town looked like Breaking Bad's Heisenberg character and I found that distracting. I was a big fan of the female leads who were easy to look at while playing their parts fine. The visiting guy who got himself into the middle of everything was annoying and I found myself rooting against him, though that would result in destroying the town. Then again, I realized destroying the town would end the movie, and by the last 20 minutes I was all for that too.

There was a twist that seemed to be of the, "hey, look at what we did there, we threw in a twist!" garden variety. I think i liked it though it seemed sorta random. So yeah, overall I enjoyed the creepy vibe, the evil Mordecai Salas, the women in the middle of all this mess, and the storyline idea with the Satanic elements. On the negative, it was clunky, and at times I had no idea what the Hell was going on. A brief topless scene and a rampant orgy that sprung out of nowhere seemed sorta out of place, but hey, these things happen in a horror flick.
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