It is George Marsh’s last day as a well-respected coal miner. His estranged, environmental lawyer daughter, Samantha, requests that she be given the opportunity to accompany him on his last day on the job in order to understand him better. As you might predict a drilling accident traps George, Samantha and a group of miners 600 feet deep in the bowels of the mine and they are informed that it will take 72 hours for rescue. The miners immediately seek refuge in a surprisingly cool emergency pod. However, hysteria, claustrophobia and cabin fever start to set in and as the air mix starts to turn “bad”. Soon the coal miners begin to hallucinate and fighting breaks out. Eventually the story about a previous group of missing miners is revealed and Samantha begins to believe that something sinister is going on in the mine.
Like “Moon” (2009), the filmmakers of Beneath craft a realistic world where we watch people in very difficult jobs perform their duties. The cast is believable in their portrayal of crusty coalminers and never once to they veer into “stupid” territory (e.g. drinking, drugs, weed, sex, etc) which can ruin a movie (e.g. Prometheus). There is nothing inherently wrong with Beneath, it’s just been done before. The movie The Descent (2005) pretty much owns the claustrophobia of being stuck underground and Beneath never comes close to that scale of terror. Still, I’ll watch Jeff Fahey in anything.