Remember all those childhood nights you were convinced something sinister was hiding under your bed? No? Well don’t you worry, director Steven C. Miller has created a movie that will remind you of the horrors that go bump in the night. Of course we all know there isn’t really a boogeyman, it’s all in your imagination – right?
Under The Bed blends horror filmmaking meant to entice younger audiences with 80s style creature features, culminating in this childish yet hard-R rated monster flick. Steven C. Miller uses his monster to tease and taunt audiences with some grand reveal, but thankfully when his monster rears its ugly head, a film-ending spectacle commences full of gore, dismemberment, and grotesque practical effects work. Even though Steven admitted these types of special effects always take longer to shoot, he thinks the effort is always worth it on camera. I couldn’t agree more Steven, as Under The Bed continues his memorable die-light reel of horror slayings. Look out “Woodchipper Girl” from Silent Night, you’ve got some competition for “Best Steven C. Miller” death scene. That’s a title, right?
But for those die-hard adrenaline junkies out there, understand there is a bit of a tonal imbalance present in Under The Bed. Impatient horror fans are going to be strung along by creepy atmospheres and quick moving shots of the creature’s hand before the finale, so patience is a virtue for this journey. I promise the payoff at the end swings for the fences and smacks the ball 500 feet over the left field fence – but it takes a majority of the film before we reach that moment. Unfortunately, if you want instant in-your face gratification, you might not appreciate Miller’s atmospheric set-up that consists of jump-scares and impending doom.
But I’ll stop wasting time because I’ve said all this in my review. For those of you who don’t feel like clicking that little link right there, here’s a paragraph that sums my feelings up pretty well:
Under The Bed is equal parts entertaining and scary, as Steven C. Miller slowly constructs anticipation, then releases the beast from within to grotesquely admirable results (positive connotation because we’re talking about horror). Don’t be fooled by Stolze’s script either, because the blending of utter insanity with what some might call “family horror” really hits on an interesting balance. We’re almost lulled into this sense of safety, only to have Miller’s visual stylings tear that safety to itty, bitty, bloody pieces. Like I said before, Under The Bed feels like the lovechild of Joe Dante and Wes Craven, but don’t take a shred of credit away from Miller. He’s created a style all to his own, and you should interpret the mention of those directors as nothing but a compliment.
Since this is a Blu-Ray review though, let’s dive into the home-video aspects Under The Bed has to offer!
Watching through the film again with Blu-Ray quality provided an experience just as memorable as the first, but my anticipation meter was off the charts as I waited to meet Miller’s boogeyman for a second time. As I described earlier, Under The Bed‘s finale is where the true excitement exists, and the crisp picture presented a crystal-clear view for all of the carnage. Teaming up with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, I have zero complaints about the presentation of this “teenage boys versus evil demon” creature feature, showing every gory detail the practical effects team painstakingly created.
I’ll tell you where I do have a problem though – the “Special Features” department. I mean, Miller is a really personable director, which I found out by interviewing him, so to hide his excitement and not include behind the scenes footage is nothing but a wasted opportunity. Along with Miller’s commentary, I would have loved some insight into the practical effects preparation, showing us just how much effort goes into each beheading and slaying. But, alas, we didn’t get a single treat from this Under The Bed Blu-Ray release, leaving me with a disappointment I wish I didn’t have to experience.
Even though there are no extra reasons to buy Under The Bed on Blu-Ray, I still proudly display it in my collection on cinematic quality alone. Sure, I would have loved to give the Blu-Ray another half a star for some awesome special footage or neat little looks behind the filmmaking curtain, but hell, Miller still created a stellar horror adventure that redefines childhood terrors. You want a real reason to fear the dark? Don’t you worry, Steven C. Miller and writer Eric Stolze’s unique take on the boogeyman legend will restore that nightly uneasiness in a shroud of smoke and a splattering of blood. Sleep tight, kiddies!
While Under The Bed is a genuinely creepy interpretation of the fabled boogeyman storyline, the lack of special features on this Blu-Ray is tad bit disappointing.