Beneath the Leaves is a new thriller on Netflix starring Mira Sorvino and Doug Jones. The story works pretty well for the most part. However, the ending of Beneath the Leaves is disappointing and eye-rolling bad. Read more in our review of the new thriller on Netflix here.

Beneath the Leaves is out on Netflix now. The thriller stars Mira Sorvino and Doug Jones along with several others.

For a long time, the story kept me engaged and a lot of the characters worked really well, while others didn’t really do it for me. The actual ending of Beneath the Leaves was ultimately disappointing. Not just because I had already guessed it, but because it lacked a lot of explanation. Too many semi-loose ends the audience is supposed to piece together in rather strange ways.

Read more about the good and bad in our Beneath the Leaves review below and watch it on Netflix how.

The good and bad of Beneath the Leaves

If you’ve got a thing with fingernails being torn off (and who doesn’t?!), then Beneath the Leaves has some really nasty scenes for you. It’s weird how these rather small actions can have such an impact, but they do. And this movie uses that in all the right ways.

What it doesn’t really utilize in the best way are characters. Some of them seem really fleshed out and work really well. This particularly goes for (most of) the adult versions of the four boys who were kidnapped.

The actors who worked the best for me in Beneath the Leaves are Ser’Darius Blain as Josh and Christopher Backus as Matt, who portrayed two of these boys. Every scene with either of those feels very authentic. 

The worst character for me was Detective Abrams who comes across as someone who wanted to play Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist and went to the wrong set. I do like the actor, Aaron Farb, so I can’t really blame him. He’s doing what the director asks of him. I just can’t imagine what he was asking for in this case.

Beneath the Leaves - Review - Netflix

The Beneath the Leaves cast

The cast of Beneath the Leaves is definitely impressive. I mean, Doug Jones alone is enough to make many horror fans pay attention. We all know him from Guillermo del Toro movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy while the rest of the world really took notice after The Shape of Water.

Unlike in most of the movies mentioned above, Doug Jones can actually be seen and recognized in this movie. He does still play a monster of sorts, but not in a fairytale, comic book, or horror sense (like in Gehenna: Where Death Lives). Instead, it’s the kind of monster you may hear about in the news.

Mira Sorvino is the main protagonist in Beneath the Leaves. Of course, she has also starred in a movie by Guillermo del Toro when they made Mimic (1997) together.

In Beneath the Leaves, Mira Sorvino does what she can with a character that is both extremely awesome and very stereotypical. Basically, she’s forced to live out several tropes.

However, it was truly brilliant to see her fight off every man who tried to attack her. Her character is both a police officer and was in the military, so she should know how to handle herself. And she definitely does!

The ending of Beneath the Leaves on Netflix

The director of Beneath the Leaves is Adam Marino, who also came up with the story. The actual screenplay was written by Naman Barsoom and Daniel Wallner along with Mark Andrew Wilson. All three writers have worked on various projects as both writers and in other capacities.

Adam Marino has his feature film debut with Beneath the Leaves after having made three short films and a documentary short. He even has another feature film already in post-production as I write this review.

The next movie from Adam Marino is an action-thriller titled Ring Ring. Yet again, the movie is based on a story by Marino with a screenplay by Barsoom and Wallner, so clearly this was a partnership that worked well for the three of them.

If you liked this movie coming out on Netflix now, then chances are you’ll be happy with their next movie. If not, then there’s still a chance they’ve bettered themselves with their second feature film. Yes, we do tend to always find the silver lining.

For now, just check out Beneath the Leaves on Netflix and decide for yourself, if it’s to your liking. Just be ready for an ending that feels either forced or just too easy. I can’t say too much but just don’t expect much of the Beneath the Leaves ending and you’ll be fine. Also, you’ll probably guess at least parts of the final plot.

Beneath the Leaves is out on Netflix in the US and Canada from June 8, 2019.


Director: Adam Marino
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Doug Jones, Kristoffer Polaha, Paul Sorvino


An escaped psychopathic child killer faces off against one of his former victims, who has since become a hard-nosed detective.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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