The Devil Below Parent Guide
Aside from a deep vein of profanity, this movie is otherwise safe for teens looking for a fun scare.
Parent Movie Review
Arianne (Alicia Sanz) has been hired to take a group of scientists to the Appalachian ghost town of Shookum Hills, abandoned since the 1970’s, when a dangerous fire broke out in the coal seam under the town. Although the scientists make it to the town, they get more than they bargained for. While exploring a steaming vent from the mine shaft, Dale (William Mark McCullough) is dragged into the darkness below, screaming all the way. Darren (Adan Canto), the leader of the expedition, is determined to get him back…until the remaining team members find themselves under attack by forces unknown.
I like a movie that cuts to the chase, and I certainly can’t fault The Devil Below for wasting my time. Coming in at a brisk 88 minutes, there isn’t much downtime between the opening logos and the end credits. Unfortunately, the plot is more complex than I expected, and the rapid pace undermines the impact of the film. It’s hard to feel a lot for the nameless guy who sacrifices himself as a distraction when he’s had all of two minutes of screen time prior to his selfless death.
Without spoiling anything, I think that the story is more to blame for this than the abbreviated runtime. Horror movies tend to be most effective when you don’t see a lot of the antagonist. Familiarity does not breed terror. Look at The Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter was on screen for all of 16 minutes, and Anthony Hopkins was so inimitably disturbing in the role he picked up an Oscar for it. You don’t want to parade your monster in front of the camera, and this movie spends a little too long doing just that. The scares are far less scary when you start seeing detail on the rubber suits.
On the other hand, The Devil Below has remarkably little negative content for a horror film. Most of the violence happens just off-screen or out of focus, and there’s no sexual content or drug use. There is, however, a motherlode of profanity, which makes this film less than ideal as a choice for teens. Apart from that, however, it would make a good choice for a group of high-schoolers looking for a fun scare on a night out – particularly if you live near a coal mine.Directed by Brad Parker. Starring Alicia Sanz, Adan Canton, Will Patton, Zach Avery. Running time: 88 minutes. Theatrical release June 13, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Devil Below
The Devil Below
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Devil Below rated TV-MA? The Devil Below is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: People suffer broken bones in falls. Several people are stabbed. Some are injured or killed in explosions. One character is knocked out after being struck in the head with a rock.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 30 sexual expletives and 7 scatological curses, and several uses of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are briefly seen smoking.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
The Devil Below Parents' Guide
Coal mining disasters like this have occurred elsewhere, notably in Centralia, Pennsylvania. What caused the fire in Centralia? What have the consequences been? How can these disasters be prevented? What are the environmental costs?