Under the Mountain Movie Review–Flawed But Still Good
The folks out at Lions Gate, possibly in a bid to convince me that they’re not getting out of the direct to video horror movie market (which they’ve been pretty short on the ground with of late) sent me a copy of Under the Mountain to review. I was glad they did, as I’d been hearing about this movie for some time, and was dying to see how well it meshed with what I’d heard.
Under the Mountain follows twins Rachel and Theo Matheson out in Auckland, New Zealand as they discover something deeply unsettling about their neighbors–they’re a race of shapeshifting monstrosities out to destroy the world called the Wilberforces. But Rachel and Theo are no ordinary twins–they once had special powers that mystified even them. Time has dulled the edge of those gifts, but if they can bring them back, they may well have the edge they need to save the world from the wrath of the Wilberforces.
An interesting prospect, no mistake, and Under the Mountain watches like nothing so much as the New Zealand Harry Potter with a darker edge. And considering Sam Neill shows up, that makes things even better.
I love how much suspense they managed to slip into this little thing, and the effects are also solidly done. Sure, it’s come out as direct to video here, but I’d give good odds this one did some theatrical time in New Zealand. Lions Gate made a really good move bringing this one to the States, and frankly, I hope this movie finds the viewership it so desperately needs–and deserves.
Sure, it can be straightforward, and predictable on more than one occasion, and in some parts the physics is a bit wonky, but the overall effect is still really, really good. None of this movie’s drawbacks really get in the way of telling a fairly decent story. Moreover, it will be entertaining, and we’ve forgotten that that’s what a movie really needs to be more than anything–entertaining.
Thus, the Screenhead Ten Scale looks at this appealing little import and hands it a triumphant eight out of ten. Sure, it’s not without its problems–let’s not try and pretend otherwise–but those problems really don’t hold the movie back any. And that gives it a lot of credibility–if you’re looking for a good horror movie with lots more tension than blood, give a note of consideration to Under the Mountain.