Director Larry Fessenden’s latest feature, Beneath, focuses on six freshly graduated high school seniors who cross paths with a massive, human-eating fish one day on Black Lake. The film is a potent blend of physical and psychological scares, and it’s getting a Blu-ray & DVD release via Scream Factory on March 25th. With the home media release coming soon, I recently chatted with Larry about his experience making Beneath.
Larry, thank you for taking the time to talk about your latest directorial feature, Beneath. To start things off, can you tell our readers what attracted you to direct this screenplay by Tony Daniel and Brian Smith?
Well, I really loved how contained the story was. It all takes place on a lake, on a tiny rowboat, and I’m a fan of the experiments Hitchcock would get up to where you sort of limit your options. He made a movie called Lifeboat that was all in one boat. That was one thing that interested me, it almost becomes like a play. And the other thing I liked is the giant fish. What’s not to like? I just loved the idea of making a creature feature. I love monsters and fish and dinosaurs and all kinds of creatures so it seemed really fun to be able to make a practical effects creature feature, and also explore how dreadful these kids are to each other. Which is kind of my viewpoint of humanity, so I got to exercise three things all at once: cinematic limitations, a monster movie, and explore human nature at its darkest.
Probably the wackiest, and perhaps creepiest musical-design treatment that a mega-piranha has yet gotten, “Beneath” uses teeth-scraping metallic effects and berserk buzzing, so much so that the score’s subject feels like it’s about a swarm of killer bees. There’s much cleverness to be had with a solitary rowboat of fresh young meat, from country-jazz to the real, chilling deal of a solo violin and off-kilter strings that capture the seemingly placid water. Sword’s score floats effectively on Graham Reznick’s Continue Reading »