After years of estrangement, Nancy reconnects with her son Daniel in a long overdue attempt to lay the ghosts of the past to rest. Concerned for his Mother, who still lives in the house he grew up in, Daniel tries to forge a relationship as he has life-changing news to share with her. However, a choice Nancy made long ago threatens to consume all she holds dear.

  • Christopher Suffield
    The Good Samaritan
  • Christopher Suffield
    The Good Samaritan
  • Lu Camish
    The Good Samaritan
  • Anwen Bull
    Key Cast
    "Nancy "
  • Jason Hall
    Key Cast
  • James Knapp
    Key Cast
    "The Man"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Christopher Suffield

Chris is a London-based writer, editor, and Director at Jellyfielder Studios, a boutique video production company founded in 2007.

Through Jellyfielders, Chris has Written and Directed feature film Together and a number of shorts including Good Morning, Eternal Rest and The Good Samaritan.

Chris shares his love of all things TV and movies based on entertainment websites Box Office Buz and We Love Movies More Than You. In his spare time, he loves making things out of stock footage, and in 2019 launched The Stock Footage Sketch Show, which features everything from songs about soup, spoof adverts to fake movie trailers.

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Director Statement

I wrote and directed Underneath to explore the hope and horrors of a fractured relationship between a son (Daniel) and his estranged mother, Nancy. While the death of his emotionally abusive father freed her from one kind of torment, it also spelled the end of a once-strong bond Daniel shared with his mother. Leaving his hometown to pursue higher education, Daniel moves away to attend a university where he finally thrives. Refuting his numerous attempts to remain in touch, Daniel and Nancy remain estranged for the next few years.

I had a complicated relationship with my mother; my parents divorced when I was two, so she played a limited yet impressionable part in my childhood. Her difficulty with alcohol blighted her numerous attempts to be an active part of my life; to say she didn't try would be unfair, even more so as she is no longer with us. Try as she did, she couldn't keep her destructive side at bay, and when her figurative demons came out, she would leave nothing but devastation behind.

Maternal love is frequently depicted as an unyielding connection between Mother and child or one laced with trauma. Sometimes both are true simultaneously, but when the parent cannot overcome their demons, it can follow them forever, whispering its poisonous words. The consequences of that can leave a heavy price to pay,

I hope that the viewer can identify with elements of both characters; life is rarely straightforward, a good person is capable of monstrous acts, and a bad person has the capacity for a random act of kindness.

Filmed over two days, Underneath was a small yet challenging shoot involving several special effects shot setups, along with more experimental camera angles and lighting designs than any of my previous work.

When casting the film, I knew I wanted to focus on the role of Nancy first, as I felt the remaining casting would flow from there. Anwen was initially disregarded as we were looking for a slightly older actor for the role, but my Producer insisted we request a self-tape. We were all blown away by the audition, and from there, we started looking for The Man and Daniel.

Jason also provided a self-taped audition, and we immediately knew he was our Daniel. The Man was the biggest challenge, as again, we were looking at an older age range, but Lu had suggested keeping the casting open to all ages, as we might be surprised.

We initially cast a fantastic actor, who was considerably younger than we'd been looking for, but his take on the character was so close to what I had imagined. Unfortunately, two weeks before the shoot, the train strikes were announced, and despite our best efforts, there was no way to make it work.

Anwen then stepped forward and suggested James, having worked with him previously. Within an hour of messaging, we had an audition video, and I couldn't have been happier with the result. James brought hypnotic energy to the role and a ruthless charm with just a hint of empathy to his unearthly character.

Overall, casting was the most challenging part of the production, and it showed me the effect actors could have on your vision for a film. All 3 of our cast are entirely different from the look or age I had envisioned when writing Underneath, but they are all so talented and inhabit their characters so wholly that I was happy to make those changes as I believe we ended up with a better film as a result.