What Lies Below Explained-Lampreys, The Ending, And Red Hair
What Lies Below streaming now is a creepy delight that leaves you wanting more. Here are all your questions answered.
Braden Duemmler’s directorial debut is largely successful due to an intriguing idea and a competent cast. Hovarth is extremely talented and imbues Liberty with the perfect mix of vulnerable young girls and tough young women. For those who enjoy a bit of beefcake, and an ambiguous ending, What Lies Below slaps. Hot men who use their looks to seduce and enchant are hardly a new concept. Hot men that are more than they appear isn’t particularly unique either. Duemmler sets his film apart by creating an atmosphere and writing characters that you are interested in.
Liberty(Ema Hovarth) is an awkward teen girl. When she returns home from archeology camp, she finds her mother’s hot boyfriend has moved in and turned the basement into a laboratory. Slowly, she realizes he is too good to be true, and they are in real danger. Before it is too late, Liberty must find a way to save herself and her mother from something she can’t begin to understand. That ending does leave you with plenty of questions. Here is everything you need to know.
What Is John?
John, the gorgeous Trey Tucker, presents as a human man, albeit a perfect male specimen, but just human. It fairly quickly becomes apparent he isn’t quite normal. He says and does some things that raise red flags, including an almost obsessive need for water and a cringe-worthy desire for menstrual blood. Once Liberty sees there is something very wrong with her mother and John, it’s too late. John isn’t a biologist, researcher, concerned citizen of Earth, or even casual lake enthusiast. He is a predatory alien here from his home planet, searching for a mate to presumably incubate his future children.
John needs fresh water to live, which is why he chokes on dinner at the beginning of the film and smokes when Liberty throws salt on him. He is like a slug. Salt makes him disintegrate. Liberty’s mom salted the food, which caused him to choke. The research he is doing in the basement is an attempt to prolong his time on Earth and attempt to procreate with the women. He not only needs to keep them alive but allow his children to adapt to their new homes. That is why he studies the lamprey.
What are Lampreys?
Lampreys are an ancient parasitic fish that is considered one of the most destructive invasive species there are. They are native to the Atlantic Ocean; however, incredible adaptability allows them to live in fresh and saltwater. They are nightmare fuel with their funnel-shaped mouths filled with sharp teeth. Lampreys kill their hosts by sucking the life out of them. John has an interest in them because of their ability to adapt. It is also foreshadowing that the lampreys are so destructive and parasitic they have all but destroyed bony fish in the Great Lakes in the 1930s. If there are more John’s out there, it wouldn’t be long before our world would be in danger.
What Happens To Liberty?
John emits a glowing blue substance from his mouth and forces Liberty to swallow it. Clearly, this is a weird procreation method. In the end, What Lies Below Liberty is in a water-filled chamber and is struggling to breathe. When she can’t hold her breath any longer, she inhales the liquid and realizes she will not drown. She seems to smile or laugh as the camera pulls back to reveal she is not alone on the ship. She is surrounded by women all in water-filled pods.
They all have flaming red hair, and all appear to be sedated. Why the others are asleep, and she is awake, we do not know, but John has been a busy boy. Earlier in the final act, Liberty sees a man who looks just like John in town with a red-haired woman. This John doesn’t seem to recognize her lending credence to the theory that many John’s have all taken women to bear children. Where they are going and how many John’s there are we don’t know. The only thing we know for sure is that John needs freshwater but is hoping to adapt, and there are multiple victims.
What’s With The Red Hair?
One of the stranger threads that never gets fully answered is John’s interest in red-haired women. He comments to Liberty that she has a little red in her hair, and Michelle remarks at the beginning of the movie that her hair was red when she met John. The assumption is he needs redheads to procreate with. We have no way of knowing if she is a redhead naturally. If she is really a blond or brunette, her difficulty with the pregnancy could be a byproduct of an incompatible system. If she is a natural redhead, it means Liberty could be in for a nasty couple of months.
Redheads have some pretty miraculous genetic traits. Gingers can generate their own Vitamin D quicker than everyone else and have higher thresholds for pain. They also emit a sensual, earthy scent caused by increased acidity in their skin mantle. Only 2% of the population is a true redhead. Redheads are difficult to anesthetize, which is not good news for Liberty but does make you wonder what john used to sedate the other women in the pods we see at the end. There have been studies on rats that Vitamin D metabolism deficiency can create problems in high sodium diets. Knowing John’s aversion to salt, it is interesting to note that he may be attracted to redheads’ unique ability to make Vitamin D faster than other women.
What Lies Below uses weird science and a hunky guy to create a tense movie that is thoroughly enjoyable. Full of creepy fish and even more unsettling sequences, it is a hidden gem worth your time. You can catch What Lies Below everywhere you stream movies right now. Follow all our explained pieces here.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.