Frightfest Day Three: Under The Bed Emily Stockham August 26, 2012 Features, Film4 Frightfest 1709 Somewhere between Eric Stolze’s writing and Steven.C Miller’s directing their attempt at supernatural suburban horror, Under the bed became rather confused. The title of this 2012 horror is promising- it taps into the place where most adults personal fears are originally derived from- childhood. The fear of something lurking in the dark or under the bed will be eternally scary as it is something everyone can relate to. Neal Hausman is not the typical brooding teenager. He wears his hood up, smokes and backchats his dad- Okay that does sound pretty typical. However, he returns from a stint in Florida with his aunt after being sent away after the death of his mum in a house fire where he was implicated and accused of starting the blaze. But Neal knows what really happened, just a shame nobody believed him. He always knew there was something lurking under his bed- no one believed him until his mother agreed to see for herself resulting in her untimely death. After two years Neal is welcomed back home by his father who believes he is mentally ill; a new step-mother who wants to start afresh and little brother Paulie who is unsure of the details of his families tragic past and reveals to Neal that he think history is repeating itself. The brothers join forces and agree to take on the malevolent bedtime beast. They defy their parents, create uber bedtime torches and figure out what the creature wants. However, I’m sad to say that this nightmarish story doesn’t quite deliver the scare factor that keeps you from sleeping soundly and that’s largely due to the aforementioned confusion in the tone. The angry and unreasonable parent figures, brotherly love and fear of turning the light off makes it feel like a horror film for pre-teens. Throw in floating objects and an eerie mist and you’ve got the makings of a modern-day Poltergeist mixed with the fairytale fears of the Boogieman and other bedtime botherers. All pretty good apart from the script that is slightly lacking. However, it then turns from pre-teen supernatural horror to outright gore-fest and a gateway to the evil netherworld akin to the ludicrous devil lair in 2010’s Insidious. The world they discover under the bed is really horribly shot making the scene hard to watch. They literally dip down there for a minute or so and find their way out by a rope. These guys are resourceful. The bed monster escapes into the house twisting heads off and eating the neighbours. Certainly not something you want your tweens to watch before bed. A promising idea with a neat set-up, Under The Bed proves to be a frustrating disappointment.