The Terror Beneath (2011)

aka “Seeds of Destruction”

That would have been exciting if any of it had happened

That would have been exciting if any of it had happened

The worst crime a SyFy Channel movie can commit is not to be terribly bad (they’re always fun to watch), nor to be yet another estranged couple try to find each other in an apocalypse movie, or to be one of those ones where no-one believes the main character despite there being aliens on the street outside. The worst crime a SyFy Channel movie can commit is to be boring.

A sort-of evil scientist has found seeds from the Garden of Eden, and one of them is stolen by his assistant to sell – only problem is, it falls into the ground and starts growing at an insanely fast rate, killing people, destroying roads and threatening to engulf towns and cities in its path. Combating this are FBI agent Jack (Adrian Pasdar), good scientist Jocelyn (Stefanie von Pfetten) and a couple of environmental activists, Joe and Kate.

So, it all goes mostly how you’d expect – plant spreads across America, people fight amongst themselves about how to stop it, or whether they even should, but this does have the added component of religion to drive it along. The Bible is used as an archaeological textbook, and Jocelyn defends it as being very valid, then one of the FBI bosses says, after taking her biblical word for it, “Don’t see our science agencies coming up with anything”. Well, firstly, you’ve not asked them yet, and secondly, the woman giving you exegetical advice is a scientist!


Kate fails to hide several times in the film, purely to drive the plot along, most of the cast wait around to get eaten or destroyed by giant roots, and they drop in some Ancient Aliens nonsense as well, discussing Gobekli Tepe, a favourite place of theirs. There’s one moderately cool scene, when some CGI fighter jets fly through some mega-sized CGI plants, but it’s ten seconds out of 90 minutes.

This one was tough to watch. Pasdar is fine, Orphan Black’s David Richmond-Peck is okay, and there’s a fun little turn from one of my favourite “That Guy” actors, Ben Cotton. But that’s it, and all we’re left with is people running around the woods and a catastrophe so large that its defeat is a tedious inevitability. Director Paul Ziller is a SyFy Channel mainstay, with the horrific “Ghost Storm” and “Stonehenge Apocalypse” to his “credit”, and I think he perfectly illustrates my SyFy Indifference Theory. Here it is again, first mentioned in “Dinocroc vs Supergator”:

SyFy Channel need material cheap enough to allow them to make a profit from selling advertising. They absolutely don’t care what it is or if it’s any good or not, and nor do the advertisers. The director has a set amount of time and money, and knows that if the film’s good, bad or indifferent, it makes no difference to him. People watching it are either like me (hipster scumbag film reviewers) or people who saw the title and thought it would be marginally better than staring at a wall for 2 hours. And thus the Indifference Theory creates another film enjoyed by no-one (not the people who made it, paid for it or watched it) and which will disappear without a trace, save a footnote in a few academic treatises about SyFy’s only real success, Sharknado. I will hopefully have forgotten it in a few days, and this review will drift into the ether, to the delight of no-one.


There you go. Not a dreadful film by any stretch, just a really really boring one.

Rating: thumbs down


One thought on “The Terror Beneath (2011)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. The SyFy Channel |

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