DIRECTOR: MAX PACHMAN / SCREENPLAY: MAX PACHMAN, MARK MAVROTHALASITIS / STARRING: LYNN COLLINS, RIGO SANCHEZ, JOSUE AGUIRRE, JAMES TUPPER, ROBERTO SANCHEZ, THOMAS CHAVIRA / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 6TH (US), TBC (UK)
After being picked up for cheap labour outside a DIY store by a wealthy American wife, four undocumented workers must fight for survival against the cruellest of fates in Max Pachman's thrilling and poignant film, Beneath Us.
Political Horror has seen a rise over recent years with Jordan Peele's films Get Out and Us taking centre stage with interesting and unique ways of conveying an important message - and Beneath Us is no different. Director Max Pachman has created a stand out independent feature that is equally thought-provoking, engaging and utterly thrilling from start to finish.
The story follows four undocumented Mexican workers (including two brothers Alejandro (Rigo Sanchez) and Memo (Aguirre)) who are desperate to reach the dizzying heights of the "American Dream". In wanting to achieve this goal, they take on a job for Liz and Ben Rhodes (Collins and Tupper respectively), a wealthy couple who live in a grand, white and clean mansion behind a giant locked gate and fences. Soon into the job, the workers realise that this is not what they expected.
From the beginning, the narrative is riveting - as the audience, you instantly buy into the protagonists' struggle and plight trying to live in this dog-eat-dog world, and as soon as things turn dark and dangerous, you are with them all the way. The stand out performer is most certainly Lynn Collins as Liz - her demeanour towards the workers starts off positive before taking a monstrous turn and her attention to creating a psychotic antagonist is terrific.
The cinematography is arguably the other main stand out feature of Beneath Us. Pachman certainly had an eye for detail and wanted to tell the story not just through dialogue or performances but the framing as well. Many shots throughout the runtime evoke an emotional reaction to either the class divide (which is at the core of the movie) and even classic films of the past such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Beneath Us is a great example that an over-reliance on stereotypical political set-pieces is not needed to craft a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that will make you think long after the credits are done rolling.
Beneath Us is in select US cinemas from Friday 6th March. A UK release date is currently unknown.