Larry Fessenden film back in theaters. Been awhile since 2006's The Last Winter appeared, though Fessenden has been busy, meantime, with both acting and producing. With BENEATH, he's back in the director's chair and has cranked out what looks, initi-ally and deceptively, like a by-the-numbers monster thriller about a group of just gradu-ated high school friends who go out on a lake in a boat. They mostly stay there throughout nearly all of the film's 90-minute running time, during which they are threa-tened by a rather too-large and too-toothy underwater creature.
Tony Daniel and Brian D. Smith) and his very game cast manage to create a group of characters who come to life quickly and believably, then unveil themselves to us in very interesting layers as the plot and threat thicken.
Daniel Zovatto (above, center) combines charm with buried sex appeal and a smart diffidence,
Chris Conroy (above) parlays his hunky body and laid-back machismo into something not quite what we expect.
Bonnnie Dennison (above) makes a pretty blond heroine with all sorts of stuff up her non-existent sleeves, while Mackenzie Rosman turns her role of second-string female into something touching and real.
Jonny Orsini as the little brother who tries harder, and Griffin Newman (above), who takes the standard role of the nerdy friend with the ever-present videocam to new heights (and depths).
Chiller Films, opens this Wednesday, July 17, in theaters (here in NYC, it plays the IFC Center) and can be seen simultaneously via VOD. (That's Mark Margolis, above, in the role of, yes, the old-man-who-warns-kids-of-bad-things-to-come.)