Underbelly (TBD) Review
In so many cases if there is a good story, interesting characters, good comic relief, originality and passable production quality an independent horror movie is going to get a fair review from me. I’m an understanding guy, and I admire the dedication and brain power it takes to put together something of value from next to nothing. There is, however, a level of personal responsibility to report accurately, and I take that responsibility seriously. If a movie will appeal only to those who are motivated to enjoy a micro-budget horror movie then I will qualify my review with that knowledge, and if the movie is a diamond in the rough that fans will enjoy across the board then I will try to communicate that also. If the movie just stinks then I feel it is my duty to utter those three words that are so painful – “This - Movie - Sucks”.
I really don’t want to be mean. Underbelly has all of the makings of a passable Indie horror movie: Original concept, interesting story, pretty good characters and acceptable production quality. Unfortunately the whole thing was put together with duct tape, bailing wire, a musical dance sequence and unexplained characters with bags over their heads – all in the name of “art”.
The story surrounds Henry Rose and his girlfriend in the beginning. They are driving to a book signing tour when suddenly the girlfriend disappears into thin air. The search for the missing girlfriend leads our hero to a small town being terrorized by a group of thugs. Then the little sister of the head thug disappears also, and everyone’s lives become intertwined.
There are a couple of nice moments in Underbelly – each of which include the literary agent of our hero. In one scene he is sitting in a hot tub drinking champagne and talking to his client about the upcoming book signing. Cliché as hell of course, but when a woman emerges from under the water only to be pushed back down with the quip “scuba lessons aren’t over honey” it is just, well, classic.
Unfortunately the brief moments of clever satire cannot salvage this flick. Too many themes, too many unexplained elements, too many random song and dance snippets, too many gold painted naked ladies as wall art. Yikes. I’m all for originality, but come on… let’s make sure that there is a horror movie in there somewhere.
I hope that Matt Cade will let me watch the next movie he does, but somehow after this review I doubt it. If he does create another film, and does decide to let me watch it, I hope he realizes that trying to be “artistic” is all well and good, but it is also important to embrace the fact that people actually need to be able to watch and enjoy the movie too.
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