Underwater Review

It’s time for an underwater film that starts off rather quickly. It reminds me why I would never want to work underwater. While I (probably) don’t have to worry about giant monsters there will always be that nagging feeling that a screw could come loose and the place comes apart. All it takes is a single mistake/miscalculation and that would be game over for me. There’s nowhere to run and so the movie uses that sense of tension and danger to get the ball rolling. It succeeds in some elements while failing in others.

The movie starts off as a normal day in the ship until a big “earthquake” strikes and all of the areas of the ship start to flood. A bunch of crew members either die instantly or manage to get into the escape pods. Around 6-7 crewmates are still around including Captain Lucien who decided to stay until he could be sure that everyone else got out. It’s an admirable move on his part and I liked him right from the start. Norah and the others must now try to get to the surface but keep in mind that this ship is thousands of miles underwater. It’s deeper than any other ship has been to the point where they’re in nearly uncharted territory so it’s not like you can just swim up. If they don’t find more escape pods or a way to go up soon then they are all doomed.

I mainly just have two issues with the film but they’re quite big. The first issue here is that this has to be one of the most forgettable main casts in a thriller movie like this. Norah and Lucien leave an impact but the others don’t really do as much. They all fulfill the roles as you have the boy friend, the mechanic, the main girl’s friend, etc. They just don’t really make much of a name for themselves outside of that so you can easily start to forget them as they blend together with any other character you’ve seen before. Norah does well as the lead and it’s not like the rest of the characters are bad but I feel they should have been able to stand out more.

The other issue is that you’re going to have to wait a long while for the monster. Unlike most films like this where you would have the monsters running around the whole time, this one doesn’t really get serious about the sci-fi parts for a while. In fact if you managed to avoid the poster and the trailers you would actually think this is more of a realistic film like Deepwater Horizon with the heroes just having to get out of the ship. The futuristic visuals for the ship would probably clue you in but I think the monsters should have played a bigger role. Once the monsters do show up, we do get some classic horror action as they take fighters down one at a time. There’s usually a lull between the big action moments so it just isn’t very nonstop. The mini monsters also just don’t look quite as cool as the main one.

The big monster itself is actually a fairly well known one. I was impressed that we got this beast in here but it doesn’t do anything until the very end of the film and so it can’t have as much of an impact as you would want. The design was cool but the film keeps everything dark so you can’t really see the creatures too much. I suspect this was a budgetary choice over a stylistic one.

Now for the good parts of the film, a good main character goes a long way and so Norah gets some good credit here. She prioritizes saving as many people as possible and makes the hard calls as needed. She doesn’t give up and just keeps on fighting throughout the whole film. Ina way she was like having another captain on the ship. Her bravery would also help to keep the rest of the crew in good spirits as well.

Likewise Lucien did well in bringing everyone together when needed. The crew didn’t have a bunch of selfish characters the way you would expect from a film like this. Time and time again you would see characters sacrificing themselves to help the others out like when one guy put on a faulty helmet because they were out of the real ones.

Norah’s friend Emily was also a good character. She did good in realizing that something was wrong during the climax even if she wasn’t able to fight her way out of her current spot. Emily was quick on the uptake and another good supporting character. I should mention that as a minor subplot we also got to see that the company behind the ship was being corrupt as always. You’re always kind of expecting that to an extent but I think the film could have built it up a whole lot more. If you ask me that would have been the right way to not only set up a sequel but add some more danger to the adventure.

Like the heroes realizing that even if they can get out of this in one piece, it doesn’t mean that they are completely safe. They may need to be silenced or something. It would add another element to worry about and for the heroes to prepare for. It would make the final shots of the movie a little more ominous as well. I can’t say I’m expecting a sequel to this film but it certainly could be done without a lot of issue.

There’s not much of a soundtrack to speak of but the effects are good. The ship looks very realistic and it’s quite large so there are a lot of things to explore here. I think to make the movie better it should have either had more monster action from the jump or it should have made the film a bit brighter. The film’s so dark that at times you can’t see as much as you would like so it can’t work as an adventure film. That’s why you need the creatures and then the lack of light becomes a real plot point there.

I wouldn’t say the film is super violent compared to some others in the genre. Of course you will still see the monsters taking the crew down but this isn’t exactly Alien. That’s always a good thing as you can have a lot of scares without going into that level of detail. I would say the viciousness of the creatures still gets across without any real issue at least.

Overall, I wouldn’t say this is a very solid monster type film as it’s lacking the monsters but it also shows more restraint than a lot of the others. At the end of the day it’s a decent experience. While I probably wouldn’t watch the film again, I wouldn’t say that it’s very bad or anything. It has its moments but is partially limited by the underwater setting since being on land gives you a lot more opportunities. If you’re going to watch this film I would say not to expect as much action as you may think from the poster and trailer but it should still keep you excited all the way through. After all the monsters are appearing and taking fighters down, it’s just not as relentless as you would expect. If the film gets a sequel then I think it’s time to bring the fight to the surface!

Overall 4/10


2 thoughts on “Underwater Review

  1. I thought Underwater was ok, the set up with quite good and it built the tension nicely. But then it all got a bit too gory and nasty for my liking for no good reason. Its a film with a good film, but poorly executed, and the cast if pretty forgettable as well.

    • I definitely prefer when films don’t get too edgy like that. You can really show the threat of the monsters without getting super violent. Agree absolutely on the cast being pretty forgettable

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