A Nightmare on Whatever Street This Is
It's been two years since Neal Hausman (Jonny Weston) was home after the events which lead to him going into special care. But it seems whilst some things have changed back home with his father having remarried some things have not changed at all as his younger brother Paul (Gattlin Griffith) is being terrorized by the same monster under the bed which led to Neal doing what he did and his two years exile from the family. With their stepmother a little scared of Neal and his father so tense it won't take much for him to lose the plot it is up to Neal and Paul to deal with what ever monster it is which resides in their home, under their beds and which torments them when it becomes dark.
"Under the Bed" is a movie of scribbled notes on the back of napkins and cigarette packets. Sounds a strange thing to say but it has that feel that who ever wrote "Under the Bed" had collected up lots of ideas for scenes and smart lines over the years, scribbling them on the back of napkins or what ever piece of paper was at hand at the time and storing them away until they come up with a vehicle to try and build them in to. Unfortunately this doesn't quite work as too often a scene will feel like it is in the movie not because it is part of the story but because the writer found the idea in his box of ideas and felt a need to use it.
What that means is that "Under the Bed" often feels disjointed as it tosses in one of these scenes but that also leads to plot holes as some scenes never get explained whilst parts of the story don't link together at all and characters end up redundant. It also leads to inconsistencies when it comes to characters with one being timid one moment and full of bravado the next. But these issues with flow and consistency are not the movies biggest issue, the biggest issue is of focus as we have two young-ish teenagers but the movie has an adult style and that cross over rarely ever works. A horror movie which stars children and has horror fun will work but not one which tries for seriousness because you just can't connect with the characters that is needed for it to work in that way.
Despite this the acting in "Under the Bed" is pretty decent with both Jonny Weston and Gattlin Griffith conveying that sense of being brothers which many movies fail to get right. You can believe they have got each other's backs and whilst they have some inconsistent dialogue when it comes to their characters they do a good job of delivering it. Peter Holden also does a good job of playing their father and really delivers that aspect of a man coming to his wits end because of his boys not being in his eyes normal.
What this all boils down to is that "Under the Bed" has a lot of good ideas and a lot of good acting but unfortunately it feels like a movie where the writers ideas have all been chucked in when they are not all needed.