The saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity could never have been coined in the age of social media, where thousands of people gleefully unite online to level their contempt at a single subject with relentless and merciless ridicule. And one such target, horror movie What Lies Below, which recently made its way onto Netflix, is now trending precisely because of how much everyone hates it.
The plot sees a teenage girl returning from summer camp to discover that not only has her mother found a new younger lover in her brief absence, but that she’s already agreed to marry him. While initially being distracted by how insanely hot the frequently shirtless hunk is, she quickly comes to suspect that there’s something not quite right about him, and becomes determined to uncover what it is.
Long story short, it’s not going down very well with critics or viewers and here’s a small selection of how people have been reacting to it:
— Naya⁷?? (@usersexist875) April 27, 2021
@netflix where can I go to get the last 1hr and 45 mins of my time back for watching What lies below. Top 10 worst movies I seen….ever.
— model broad wit da hollywood smile (@bbygrlt) April 26, 2021
These were the WORST. I kept watching behind her eyes bc it looked so good and I was confused and somewhat interested but I regret wasting my time? & don’t get me started with what lies below… what kinda weird monster crap was that?
— cloudsss (@claudiaaapz) April 25, 2021
what lies below was the weirdest thing i’ve ever seen
— ????? (@sarahnxtdoor) April 28, 2021
Who the fuck decided that #WhatLiesBelow was a good movie & gave the OK to show it to people with actual eyeballs! Wtf did I just watch ???
— Taylor Wolf (@tayw0lf) May 2, 2021
watched what lies below on netflix lastnight and it feels like my brain has been in a blender
— ???? ???? (@MadiBall17) April 29, 2021
Just finished watching "what lies below" on Netflix, and uh what did I just watch!?!!
— Victoria? (@sp0okyvic) May 1, 2021
I’m like a half hour into What Lies Below and it’s absolutely one of those movies that feels like it was made by somebody with the barest knowledge of filmmaking and even less knowledge of how humans work. Cannot recommend enough.
— twenty dollar lunch (@queenbuttpirate) April 25, 2021
I just watched What Lies Below on Netflix thanks to @KennieJD for suggesting it. I have no idea wtf the purpose of this movie was. Like wtf did I watch just now. So many questions & confusion. WTF? pic.twitter.com/PJ0DwD8da6
— Im Me✨?? (@96Otono) April 26, 2021
— Monique (@MoVa78) May 3, 2021
If the movie’s premise sounds more to you like that of a Lifetime melodrama than a Netflix horror, you’d be right, and that’s entirely the problem. Had it remained a sinister yet simple tale of a mysterious man’s hidden secrets being revealed, it might have been vaguely tolerable, but the shoehorning in of cosmic forces and aquatic hominids as though it’s attempting to be a really loose adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth leads to the impression that everything was thrown together with no consideration given to if the various elements would actually complement each other rather than incoherently clash.
Additionally, the film is peppered with vague allusions to a difficult family history, but none have any relevance to the story at hand, and are merely dropped in as a substitute for competent character development, making the screenplay feel like it was assembled using a series of notes copied from writing manuals without the requisite talent to ascertain how to put it together.
There’s no reason why family drama and horror can’t work in the same film – and in fact, they have on multiple occasions – but it takes a far better movie than What Lies Below to realize this.