film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Beneath the Leaves 2019 * * 1/2 Stars

Beneath the LeavesDirector: Adam Marino
Year: 2019
Rated NR
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Paul Sorvino, Doug Jones

"It's a cyclical pattern". So says the character of PI Erica Shotwell in Beneath the Leaves (my latest review). "Leaves", well it's quite the "sickening" movie.

In Beneath the Leaves, an ill-defined psychopath escapes from an elaborate prison fire. Twenty years after being incarcerated, he vows to carry out his mission to kill four boys (now grown men) he had once held captive. Said psychopath also has an obsession with lethal injection needles, drugged alcoholic beverages, and ripped out fingernails. Ouch, ouch, and double ouch!

Image result for beneath the leaves movie scenesStarring the likes of Paul Sorvino, Mira Sorvino, and Mira's husband Christopher Backus (talk about a Sorvino family affair), "Leaves" turned a little brown for me On Demand. I will say this though. Mira Sorvino sure is sexy and badass as a mirrored, Mariska Hargitay-style detective. At age 51, she's still a tall drink of water and a darn knockout.

Clocking in at 90 minutes flat and distributed by Eagle Films (various birds tend to show up metaphorically here), Beneath the Leaves is worth watching again even though I couldn't quite bring myself to recommend it. Basically, "Leaves" is part mystery thriller, part Law & Order: SVU episode on steroids, part torture porn, and part Sleepers for the modern day. Look for plenty of grisly killings, a rare Julian, California locale, and the most outlandish overacting since Rod Steiger played a frothing Mayor and Danny Aiello played a douche Captain in 1989's The January Man.

In conclusion, the director of "Leaves" (rookie Adam Marino) fashions a film that is sometimes haunting, sometimes discombobulating (the opening scene in relation to the rest of the flick is kind of head scratching), and sometimes veered into camp. With a weird mixture of barbarity and out of place humor, Beneath the Leaves may make you feel effectively icky but it's still sort of "beneath" me. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment