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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Devil Below' (2021)

'The Burrowers' with no balls.

By Reed AlexanderPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

You know, this was okay. It had the production quality of a SyFy Channel Original. That means shitty CGI minimum. And yeah, that's what you get. The monsters really look like garbage up close. Hell, you see that maw at the bottom of the movie poster? That shit would be good, but they look nothing like that. They kinda look like a shitty CGI version of the Fluke Man from X-Files but with a giant head. I mean, they had practical FX costumes for the monsters, so why not go all in on practical FX? Hell, a shitty rubber monster looks better than a shitty CGI monster. But they basically use lighting and camera filters to cover how bad everything looks. I mean, I know rubber monster suits are expensive, especially when you need at least a dozen, but that's why you have one really good one for up close and a bunch of really basic ones to cover with the lighting and filters. I mean, that's what lighting and filters are for. Like I said in my review of Alien Abduction (2014), it's okay to cover up your shitty rubber monster costumes. You can make the worst rubber monster look good with the right lighting and filters. And, I mean, they seemed to get that in this movie, because they go out of their way to cover up the FX with lighting and filters. So why half-ass CGI when you can whole-ass latex?

The acting was actually pretty good for horror. Better than you'd expect, really. I was flat-out impressed that they got the talent they did out of a SyFy Original budget. These actors might actually have places to go in the future. They didn't disappoint just because the movie did. Good on them really. It must be awfully tempting to just completely phone it the fuck in when you're placed in a production like this.

The plot was generic, but who cares. It's a creature feature. It's all about the beasty and the creature reveal. You got rednecks trying to quarantine a mass of monsters, and everything gets derailed by a bunch of scientists who wanted to come and check out the coal mine fire. This makes for good mayhem and a solid secondary antagonist. You know, they basically did everything right with the plot.

So, do I recommend this movie? I honestly don't know. I guess I'm kinda on the fence about it. What I'll say is, why not watch it? It's not good but it's not terrible. Might even be fun to riff. I guess Hardcore Horror Heads only.

SPOILERS!!!

Why the fuck are a bunch of coal miners trying to quarantine a bunch of monsters by themselves? Seriously. Didn't the coal town have cops? One fucking sheriff, at least. They're all like "who would believe us" but then, just a single law enforcement agent could call in the cavalry and just call it "Terrorism" or some shit like that. Eventually, it would climb the ladder to the military. Then just move the fuck on. I mean, how the fuck were these hicks bankrolling this effort? The mine was closed, that's the only source of income for the town. They would inevitably need things like food and ammunition. How do they afford it? Where are they getting the money?

But I do guess you have to suspend disbelief a bit. I mean, they go caving right into a mine that is on fire, and don't immediately die from the noxious fumes. Come to think of it, why is the mine on fire? That was just a cover story to keep people away from the monsters. So why is the mine on fire? Did they cover that and I just missed it? How did the monsters survive the fire? They use a flame thrower to kill one, so clearly they're not immune.

There's also this scene where the monsters just break out of quarantine all by themselves without the scientists accidentally letting them out like the first time. So clearly the quarantine measures are shit, at best. It kinda doesn't make sense for the plot. I mean the whole point is supposed to be that the meddling scientists breached the perimeter, so why have a scene where the monsters just do it themselves?

And I can't NOT complain about the biggest offender in the shit CGI category. They knew it too. These monsters have a queen, and it looks SO BAD that they covered it with a blur filter.

But yeah, watch it or don't, I couldn't give a fuck.

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About the Creator

Reed Alexander

I'm a horror author and foulmouthed critic of all things horror. New reviews posted every Tuesday.

@ReedsHorror on TikTok, Threads, Instagram, YouTube, and Mastodon.

Check out my books on Godless: https://godless.com/products/reed-alexander

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    Reed AlexanderWritten by Reed Alexander

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