Phoenix Fearcon presents ‘Beneath: A Cave Horror Film’

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Director: J.J. Perez

Review Rating: 6 out of 10

A group of cavern tour guides go investigating the local cave cult rituals to celebrate a Halloween night.

So the entire cast and crew, including director J.J. Perez, are all employees of this particular Texas-based cavern in real life, which is how they gained access to filming in there. Despite the best efforts of greats like Robert Rodriquez, the cave is always denied due to landmark protections and such. But here we have a group of employees and aspiring filmmakers who determine to make the best of a rather boring situation, and make a tiny horror flick!

Of course the local legends involve the raising of a demon down in the deep dark of the caverns our tour guides traverse on a regular basis, via cultists and a ritual that takes on urban legend proportions. And of course, on a Halloween eve when there’s little else going on, the guides Daniel (Enzo Monfre), April (Brooke McKinney), Kevin (Neal Sansing), Nathan (Michael Morris), and Sarah (Meghan Forbes) somewhat reluctantly convince each-other that the best way to party would be to go down into the dark and reconstruct the ritual. That sure sounds like way more fun than getting party drunk or trick or treating to me!

Pretty much as expected, the ritual actually works and soon the risen demon Arkyn is terrorizing the tour guides all through the caverns, though it also may have had something to do with the fact that some of the interfering adults running around, like Jerry (Bradford Riley) or Bill (Tony Bowerman), have old cult-like secrets of their own.

On a micro-budget with first-time filmmakers abounding, the cast and crew of ‘Beneath’ do a fair job for what they have to work with. The shots of the grand caverns are set up pretty nicely, and the makeup effects are fairly fun, even the score is good. Here’s hoping Perez and pals will be able to expound on newcomer talent with a larger budget sometime in the future!