I just found out that I waited a year to be able to watch Under the Bed, the new horror flick from Steven C. Miller. It played the Fantasia Film Festival in July of 2012 and is only making its way to DVD/Blu-ray now (just came out July 30th). I noticed that this happens a whole lot. I dislike that it takes so long to make it to the masses. A film like Under the Bed is worth watching sooner rather than later and certainly a year is a long time to wait to see a movie that genuinely creeps me out. It’s not a sad tale. It’s a common tale, and that’s how our distro model works these days, but let’s give the industry a cup of strong coffee and expedite this process. Miller’s stuff has impressed me, and this one even more so than his remake of Silent Night.
First off, Under the Bed is a tale of two brothers versus the boogeyman… or whatever the fuck is under their bed (as nameless as Cthulu). That’s simple enough. I suppose the fact that they’ve grown up some and are still fighting the big bad under the bed should make this moderately humorous, but it isn’t. It plays on a fear you’ve had since you’ve been able to have fears or to even understand that you had just wet your pants due to a shadow of a stuffed animal in the corner of your room. We’ve all been there, right? There’s nothing in the dark that can hurt you except for the teeth attached to thing in the place where you can’t see lurking right under your precious cereal-fed ass. When I say that Under the Bed got me, I mean that by the end of the movie I was asking myself what’s under my bed much in the same way that a Capital One commercial might ask what’s in my wallet.
The movie is dark. It’s much darker than Silent Night with a shot list set at night in the scariest of places, your own bedroom. For how vibrant Miller’s take on Silent Night was, with plenty of shots filling the daylight hours, Under the Bed is the opposite. It works, and plays on your fear of the unknown by showing you very little and keeping… whatever is your supposed to be afraid of in the movie well off screen (until the right time). The suspense works effectively especially toward the end of the film when the cast peaks generating paranoia and stark raving fear. It takes awhile to get there though. The movie builds and toys with reality; is there a creature under the bed at all?
I don’t want to spoil this movie for you, so I’ll cut this review off before I do. Fans of Silent Night will appreciate Miller’s filmmaking. If you didn’t enjoy Silent Night, there’s no reason to think that you’re not going to enjoy this or at least you shouldn’t hold it against Under the Bed. They may share some elements, but Miller has made a movie that is more basic with fears that are rooted in our collective past. That means you should see it to give it a go and maybe a second chance (knowing full well that Silent Night was considered a somewhat divisive release last year).
Steven Miller… do right by us Motel Hell fans. Keep up the bloody good work.