Most horror fans would admit that they enjoy a trashy low-budget horror flick as much as they do a decent one. For some reason, horror is about the only genre that can get away with shitty, underdeveloped films laced with bad acting and questionable special effects that are somehow still entertaining, and Under the Bed is definitely one of these.
Neal (Jonny Weston) comes back to live with his dad, brother and new step mum after an incident that resulted in him being declared crazy. Turns out he’s not as crazy as everyone made out and the thing he kept seeing under the bed actually exists, and now his younger brother Paulie (Gattlin Griffith) is being terrorised. The pair team up to battle the creature under the bed, all the while trying to convince their angry, a-hole of a father that they aren’t, in fact, mad.
A relatively unimaginative story that feels underdeveloped from the start. We don’t find out why exactly Neal had been sent away until a little way into the film so the entire set up is difficult to get your head around. Plenty of character development does take place though, and slowly but surely they become believable as a family. The acting isn’t wonderful, but it’s also not the worst in the world, and Jonny Weston does a pretty good job as lead character and nut-job monster-under-the-bed-hunter Neal and his on-screen relationship with his younger brother, played by Gattlin Griffith, adds a nice depth to the film that allows you to empathise a little with the characters.
The action doesn’t really kick off until the last third of the film where we finally see the monster in full form. Up until that point there are a few growls that come from under the bed (which is actually pretty funny) but that’s about it. It does make you wonder why on earth the kids didn’t just demonstrate this bizarre, growling bed to their parents and clear up all accusations of being mad but you do have to throw your logic out the window when watching films like this or you will end up driving yourself as crazy as the characters. The monster itself isn’t all that bad and the special effects are surprisingly good. We don’t see much of the monster, which is probably a blessing, but what we do see isn’t so crap it’s laughable which is always a bonus.
Under the Bed is by no stretch of the imagination a brilliant, terrifying horror film. Up until the last 30 minutes or so the ‘horror’ elements (like the growling bed) are actually quite funny but the performances are good enough to carry it and the character development helps to get you interested enough in the story that you don’t feel the need to just turn it off and give up. Relatively entertaining, but nothing outstanding or out of the ordinary.