After bursting onto the scene with Inside, French filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury quickly established themselves as a fresh new voice to horror. Especially the more extreme kind. Things would seemed to stumble, though, after partnering with the now defunct Dimension Films. Under the monsters who ran this company, their follow-up film would never get a stateside release due to them trying to immediately do an American remake instead. Then their debut would be hard to get once the studio shut down. Even their chance to direct an installment of one of horror’s biggest franchises, 2017’s Leatherface, would get an extraordinarily limited release. Luckily, thanks to streamers looking for fresh content, things appear to have gone the other way and their films becoming available in the States. Which leads us to The Deep House.
You know how James Cameron keeps delaying his Avatar sequel no one asked for due to getting the underwater filming just right? Well, he can suck it. Bustillo and Maury beat him to the punch with their newest film. To help differentiate their found footage haunted house film from all the others, they filmed, and had it take place, entirely underwater. You heard me right, folks. And, luckily, it’s more than just a gimmick. They do a great job of using this to their advantage when it comes to the scares and even setting up additional cameras so there’s freedom of movement as things escalate towards the end. Now, those scares I mentioned. This film features some of the more effective and genuinely unnerving scenes of fright I’ve seen in a horror film. And the underwater movement never takes away from it even once. To hold all these elements together is the wonderful performances from our two leads. Everything from their established relationship to the frights are greatly enhanced from them making their characters likable and engaging to watch.
Bustillo and Maury definitely have another hit on their hands. Instead of the extreme gore they’re so known for, they deliver a frightening haunted house movie filmed entirely underwater. Technical achievement and genuine frights come together for a solid horror film.