Something is in the lake. What Lies Below starring Ema Horvath, Trey Tucker and Mena Suvari is coming home on December 4 from Vertical Entertainment and looks to put some chills into the holiday season. We’ve got an exclusive look below at the upcoming horror movie you can sink into right now.
In What Lies Below, Liberty, a socially awkward 16-year-old, returns from two months at camp to a blindsided introduction of her Mother’s fiance&́e, John Smith, whose charm, intelligence, and beauty paint the picture of a man too perfect to be human.
Director Braden R. Duemmler said that while writing the screenplay, he aspired to tell a story that was not just Horror, or Sci-Fi, or Family Drama, or Mystery, or Teenage Angst, but rather all at once. A film that navigates these genres by grounding the narrative in its characters, specifically, the perspective of our female protagonist, Libby Wells (Ema Horvath). While researching Libby’s character, he was struck by the depth of rationale and emotion girls jockey through during their teenage years, but also recognized the same awkwardness, doubt, and discovery we all experience as our sexuality blossoms.
“I believe that fear and anxiety implicit within teenage sexuality allows all viewers to simultaneously relate to Liberty and fear for her.”
While directing What Lies Below, Duemmler sought to cultivate this empathy visually by creating a Female voyeur/Gaze, in Liberty, and a Homme Fatale, in John Smith (Trey Tucker). Through the outset of the film, Libby (“the looker”) watches the world and stares at John as the object of her desire and, whether focused on a part of John (such as his hip flexors, chiseled abs or perfect smile) or capture him whole (i.e. his introduction in/from the lake) he conveys, what film theorist Laura Mulvey referred to as, a “to-be-looked-at-ness.”
“As filmmakers, we want you to see him, we want you to stare at him, we want you to want more from him and, in so doing, we want you to question him.”
What Lies Below is on demand and on digital December 4, 2020.