UNDERWATER – A Review by John Strange


UNDERWATER – A Review by John Strange

Sometimes you see a trailer and the shudder comes unasked.  And when you watch the film begin to roll before your eyes on the theater’s big screen you wonder if your feeling may be coming true.  You pray that it won’t.  Sometimes, prayers are not answered.

Set deep in the Mariana Trench, several miles beneath the surface, an earthquake strikes a research rig with devastating results.  The survivors, trapped on the rig, must find a way to escape to the surface.  And to make matters worse, their drill has attracted attention that puts them in dire peril.

With a minimalist cast, the story is a typical example of horror movie fare.  The team is thinned down to four by the time they prepare to leave the relative safety of the rig to reach additional escape pods in a remote section more than a mile away.  Led by Norah (Kristen Stewart), the remaining players in the film fight their way through depths filled horrors of the deep and death.

This film is written by people who decided to follow the standard recipe book for horror films.  To their credit, they manage to add each piece of the formula at the appropriate moment to get the greatest reaction from the audience.  The greatest disappointment I felt was seeing how these filmmakers skimped on the sets.

A deep-sea rig would NEVER be made utilizing standard cement.  It simply could not withstand the pressure at those depths.  Deepsea rigs, like submarines, are very specialized devices/vessels.  The halls would never be wide and tall, the intersections, the control rooms so “roomy”.  They would be as tight and as small as they can get away with to keep the structure as strong as possible.

Speaking of withstanding pressure, the suits the divers used with their fishbowl-like domes?  Nope.  Too many problems with these fragile pieces of glass to delineate here.  This damaged my viewing pleasure beyond repair.

Possibly the best thing in the movie (and “good” in this case is a relative term) is the variety of creatures from the depths the filmmakers show us.  This film really makes me miss the old “Get Your Torches” rating!  Instead, I have to settle for giving Underwater an “F”.


Directed by: William Eubank

Cast: Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick, Mamoudou Athie, Gunner Wright

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action and terror, and brief strong language)

Selig Rating: F

Runtime: 95 Min.

Movie Site: www.foxmovies.com/movies/underwater


The Selig Rating Scale:

A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

B – Good movie

C – OK movie

D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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