Fantasia 2012: ‘Under the Bed’ sends old school shivers down our spines
Under the Bed
Director by Steven C. Miller
Written by Eric Stolze
They do not seem to make films involving kid-related content like they used to. The common complaint about kids films in the early 21st century is that they cater to the lowest common denominator. Such a qualm can be aimed at films whose primary audience are youth, as well as for pictures featuring children as the protagonists that should be enjoyed by everyone. That is, in essence, the key: making a movie that all can enjoy. American director Steven C. Miller, a great admirer of kids films from the 80s which moulded him as a child (as he revealed himself during the Q&A session afterwards), tries to bring back some of the attitude far more prominent in the films of yesteryear than is the case with the contemporary landscape with Under the Bed, yet another world premier at Fantasia this year.
Under the Bed is, at its heart, the story of two brothers, Neal (Jonny Weston) and Paulie (Gattlin Griffith) whose bond is stronger than most will ever know or understand. Neal, the elder brother, is in his mid teens whereas Paulie is but around 11 or 12, yet rather than bicker and perpetuate any rivalry, each cares deeply for the other, yet their connection is the cause of something far greater, far more nefarious than mere brotherly love. Some years ago, when their mother was still alive and all was swell in life, ‘something’ came out of the dark in their rooms, causing emotional, physical and psychological turmoil until Neal eventually thought it best to burn down the house entirely, ridding them of their living nightmare…although their mother perished too. Now, after spending some time with his aunt down in Florida, Neal is coming home to live with his estranged father (Peter Holden) and the latter’s new woman (Musetta Vander). Their father would like nothing more than to have a new, healthy life, something both Neal and Paulie clamour for as well. The truth of the matter is that their lives are still under the oppressive force of the creature that lives under the bed, keeping the brothers awake at night, fearful of its terrifying growls and vile intentions. Something is going to give.