A New Horror Movie On Netflix Is Trending For All The Wrong Reasons

What Lies Below

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:

what lies below

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.