MTV’s “The Truth Below” Review

June 16, 2011
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For a few months now MTV has been teasing us with a trailer for its newest original TV film, “The Truth Below”. Tonight, it finally premired and I am here to give you my opinion on this new MTV flick.

the truth below

The movie stars Nick Thurson (Dante), Gillian Zinser (Jenna), Ricky Mabe (Liam), and Reid Ewing (Ethan) as four college freshman who are just wrapping up a spring break snow boarding trip. As they head home from what appears to have been a fun vacation, they are pulled over by the local police who warn them they need to pull over and put chains on their tires due to icy conditions on the roads. When they stop at a gas station, Ethan (who is channeling a very creepy Adrian Grenier look to him), reveals that he forgot them and they should just head on without them. As they begin driving, they skid off the side of the road and are soon buried by an avalanche. When they wake up, after a surprisingly brief panic and assessing their injuries from the crash, they decide (once again at the suggestion of Ethan) to play “the truth game” as they bide their time waiting for rescue since Liam is sure his mother will become worried when he doesn’t arrive home that evening. And that, ladies and gents, is the basic gist of this movie.

From here, the movie gets kind of predictable and surprisingly morbid! The friends begin sharing their deepest, darkest secrets, soon realizing they know very little about each other. Ethan shares he used to fantasize about his sister, Liam reveals he is a virgin, Jenna was expelled from high school for fighting a bully and that it soon began spreading around the school that she had an affair with a teacher (which she did), while Dante shares very little because his biggest secret is that he is in love with Jenna.

If you missed tonight’s premier and intend on seeing this movie for yourself, turn back now. Normally, I would refrain from spoiling movies, but I found “The Truth Below” to be so simple of a film that it is kind of hard to talk about it without talking about the utterly screwed up situations these kids up themselves in. So, ya know, spoiler alert from here on out.

After they get all their secrets out (or in Dante’s case, lack of sharing), Jenna offers to have sex with Liam in the car, seemingly with an undertone to get under Dante’s skin, which she does. This pisses Dante off beyond belief, and he soon confesses he is in love with Jenna and is shocked that the mild-mannered Liam would do that to him. Jenna seems surprised by Dante’s feelings for her, even though she seemed to have knowingly prodded this out of him by having sex with poor Liam. The excitement from the argument causes Liam to have a severe asthma attack, and they begin frantically searching the car for his backup inhaler. The evil Ethan is the first to find it, but hides it instead of giving it to Liam, who soon dies.

After confirming Liam’s death, Ethan tries to force himself on Jenna and when she resists then goes on to reveal to her that Dante carries a half naked picture of her in his wallet. She becomes upset and asks where they got it, and Dante tells her that Ethan gave it to him when he told him that they had been hooking up. Jenna is shocked by this, stating that she had never done anything with Ethan and didn’t know how he got the picture, which is a total shock to Dante. Ethan then confesses that she was drugged at a party he took her to earlier in the year, and instead of looking out for her allowed a group of guys to take pictures of her and then rape her. Yikes! While the three remaining “friends” fight, they discover Liam’s inhaler in Ethan’s pocket, realizing he practically killed him.

At that point Jenna and Dante have had enough, and leave Ethan to his evil thoughts in the car as they attempt to dig their way out. By this point, Liam’s mom has alerted the authorities and there is a manhunt for the wayward group. However, by the time they are found, Jenna and Dante have frozen to death in the compacted snow in each other’s arms, while Ethan is left, assumed dead, below.

I gotta say, this was NUTS for an MTV movie! It was by no means a fantastic movie, and the acting was kind stale, but the pure shock value of how screwed up this movie was is enough to keep you watching it. I was also kind of shocked that they aired a film like this in a primetime slot! Granted, it is late primetime at 9EST, but this movie was full of drugs, rape, sex, and death! Way harsh for something that aired after a rerun of 16 and Pregnant! It really takes a lot to shock me, and there were several moments when I found myself wondering what the heck I was watching.

Even though MTV has been pushing this film for several months now, it lacked the usual fanfare an MTV original usually has. No crazy countdown, no buzzworthy introduction or launch party, and it didn’t even air back-to-back. In fact, the next time the movie airs is in the early morning on Saturday! It doesn’t even seem like the network is excited or particularly proud of this film, so how are we supposed to be? It seemed like a lame excuse to throw some borderline inappropriate storylines into one time slot to see how it went. Did we all just get Punk’d?

If you missed “The Truth Below” tonight, and don’t intend to wake up at 7am to watch it on Saturday, I’m sure they will keep it in late night rotation for a little while. But if not, don’t be too bummed out.

Did you happen to catch “The Truth Below” tonight? What did you guys think of it? Let us know, and check out the trailer from the movie below!

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Photos: M. Barraza/FayesVision

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