What Lies Below (2020 Netflix)
Cast: Ema Horvath, Troy Iwata, Mena Suvari, Trey Tucker
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Synopsis (via Netflix)
A 16-year-old girl returns home from camp and learns that her mother has a new boyfriend, one she intends to marry, a man whose charm, intelligence, and beauty make him look like he’s not human at all.
Teenage bookwork, Liberty (That is her name?), gets picked up from camp by her “cool mom” Michelle. She drives a yellow bug and sings obnoxiously in the car. Michelle pushes Liberty or “Baby Girl” to date a boy named Tommy and tries to have a sex talk. The second embarrassment is real here. How has Mena Suvari fallen this far?
When they get to their remote lake cabin, Liberty is surprised to see a muscley hunk in a speedo emerging from the lake in slow motion. He is Michelle’s new boyfriend named John. John gift Liberty a fertility bracelet from Native Americans????? (All while he stands there in a speedo.) Liberty is attracted to John and can’t help but notices his happy trail.
At family dinner, John talks about salt water and fresh water for longer than needed. He chokes on his salad and then hugs Michelle while caressing Liberty’s shoulder. That night Liberty touches the spot where he touched her and masturbates. Then she creeps on her mother having sex (loudly) with John. She almost gets caught by a naked John, who watches her pretend to sleep.
Michelle and Libby argue over family drama. Apparently, Libby inherited the lake house from the grandpa over her mother. It has created some awkward tension. Even more awkward is when Libby is alone in the woods with John and a centipede. Michelle is laid up in bed and not feeling well. She tells Libby that John asked her to marry him… and she lied to him about her age. (Michelle said she was 35 instead of 42. What a weird thing to do as a grown woman.)
Libby is supportive of her mom’s engagement. Especially if it means she can keep spying on the shirtless hunk. John works in the basement, and it is a mysterious place. The lighting is red, and the walls are covered in black trash bags. He has fish tanks filled with aquatic parasites that can live in salt/freshwater. Libby calls John a “weird dude.” Hot guys are allowed to be weird or even ALIENS (If that is where this is going.)
While fishing, Libby has her period in the boat. John takes off his shirt and presses it against her crotch, then he licks the period blood off his fingers and says that it is okay because they are both scientists. Libby is horrified. She takes a shower, oblivious to John, standing outside the shower curtain, sniffing and licking his lips. He steals the period-stained shirt and sniffs that too.
Libby tries to call for help but has no cell service. She iMessages a friend named Miley (unfortunately not Cyrus.) who will stop by the next day but doesn’t seem too concerned. There is a reason for concern because John walks into the lake in the middle of the light, and it is glowing red. Libby tries to get herself and her mother to safety, but Michelle is locked in her room and non-responsive. John explains that he was just sleepwalking.
Michelle is suffering from significant stomach pain and vomiting. She thinks she could be pregnant and sends Libby in town to the store. While in town, Libby sees John wearing GLASSES. (While walking with another woman.)
Miley shows up and listens to Libby recap the crazy things going on. When Miley hears about the pussy-grabbing while she was on her period, Miley had heard enough and runs upstairs to tell Michelle what is going on. I don’t think she comes back. Libby finds her mother and John in the living room and asks if Miley talked to them. Michelle says she hasn’t seen her and gets into an argument with Libby for making up lies about John. Libby tells John the truth about Michelle’s age, which sets John off. He leaves abruptly and is literally seeing red with rage.
Libby does some snooping and walks in on Michelle and John having sex. She sees scales pop up all over John’s back as he climaxes. He is a fish-man! Libby jumps into the yellow bug and accidentally drives it into the lake? I’m not sure what the hell her plan is her. The car gets stuck, and the headlights show something in the lake. Instead of calling 911, Libby calls Miley and hears her cellphone ringing in the basement.
Libby finds a new addition to the fish tanks in the basement with the creepy lighting and plastic bag walls. Her mother. Michelle wakes up as Libby tries to untie her mother. John interrupts and watches Michelle deliver a fish baby. It is weird. Very Very weird.
Liberty finally decides to call 911 and realizes that John has a signal blocker in the basement. John screams as she destroys it and finally calls for help. It is too late for Miley, who is sleeping with the fishes.
John gets back into the basement and holds Libby up by her neck, licking her with his weird fish tongue. Libby pours salt on him and gets away. Michelle and Libby get out of the house and run into the woods. They don’t make it far.
Libby wakes up tied up and gagged in the basement. The Fishman caresses her lips and face while telling her it will be okay. Then he hacks a fish loogie and spits it into her mouth. He plugs her mouth and nose, forcing her to swallow. She is left in a fish tank to drowned among many other victims. The end?
If you go into this with low expectations and aren’t watching with the whole family, this was an OK movie for a lazy night in.
This movie was dumb, but no dumber than The Faculty (1998)
Minority Report: Tommy, Miley or Marley,
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