What Lies Below (2020, USA)

When Liberty (Ema Horvath) comes back to her family’s lakeside Adirondack house from summer camp she discovers mum (Mena Suvari) has got herself a ‘super fit’ new boyfriend. John (Trey Tucker) is all muscles and must spend hours depilating most of his torso. He also claims to be a genetic biologist researching how to adapt freshwater organisms to live in salt water.

Ema Hovath and Trey Tucker

So are we in for a classic daughter falls for mother’s ripped boyfriend yarn, well it does initially look that way and John is up for some creepy stuff like after a long session of boning mum wandering naked from the bedroom to the loo and peering in through Liberty’s open bedroom door. Things get creepier when John invites Liberty to see his basement laboratory which is full of lampreys, a parasitic fish he is full of admiration for because of its ability to pass from fresh to salt water. Feeling as if she is connecting with him Liberty agrees to help John get some samples from the lake, but when her period unexpectedly starts John’s behavior gets really weird. Liberty just assumes he’s a bit of a perv but then she observes John walk into the lake in the middle of the night towards a bright light. Oh dear he’s obviously something not quite of this land environment and obviously he must have some kind of nefarious reasons for hanging with the human chicks, so it’s up to Liberty to find out what!

What Lies Below kicks off a kind of slow burn Lolita, before mutating into a genetic Sci-fi body horror with elements of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Species (1995) and Honeymoon (2014). Written and directed by Braden R Duemmler It’s entertaining enough with some decent chills and the odd jump scare, but the story is a bit predictable. However its nicely acted especially by Trey Tucker who really turns on the full creep with knobs on. We give What Lies Below a 555/666.

Signature Entertainment presents What Lies Below on Digital Platforms from 22nd February

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