A crew of oceanic researchers must escape a deep-sea drilling facility
after a mysterious earthquake occurs and hostile creatures emerge.
Directed by William Eubank
Written by Brian Duffield and Adam Cozad
Starring Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Mamoudou Athie,
T.J. Miller, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick
Aquatic horror is another subgenre which doesn’t seem to pop up a lot. Don’t know why either, as the setting of the ocean is inherently terrifying. We know we haven’t explored the entirety of it and there are numerous ghostly legends surrounding it. Yet, we still have yet to fully explore the potential behind sea-based horror. And I have a theory about that. I think studios have focused significantly less on utilizing the setting and more on how they should capture Jaws success: The movie that set the standard for both aquatic horror and the summer movie season. But, sometimes we get a passable film which provides a good time. It’s nothing great and probably won’t stand the test of time. But it’s entertaining enough. Which is exactly what Underwater is.
To begin with, this movie is the definition of right off the bat. We get maybe ten minutes of introducing our main character before shit hits the fan. And the movie never lets up from there. While this can sometimes bug me, I actually think this quick pace helps out the film overall. It helps put you into the shoes of the characters and their current predicament. Granted, on the flip side, it does make it hard to follow along sometimes since virtually nothing is explained. As for the actors, they do a pretty good job. Nothing memorable. But they also don’t ham it up too much and seem committed to their performances. But the biggest thing, the creatures. While the use of CGI does hurt the ultimate product, they still looked pretty awesome for the most part. The Lovecraftian aesthetic helps out a lot, especially towards the film’s conclusion. If only the film didn’t have a weird fascination with portraying R-rated deaths in a PG-13 film.
Of all the January released studio horror films I’ve watched, Underwater isn’t the worst. The pace is mostly solid, actors don’t ham it up, and the creatures are pretty cool. But the film also suffers from severely little explanation and not being all that different from other things I’ve watched. With that said, this isn’t the worst way to spend a rainy day.