Updated: Jul 4, 2020
A drilling facility has been working on and around the deepest parts of the ocean. Something goes wrong, really wrong, and most of the facilities are destroyed in what is at first considered to be some sort of structural failure, but later the survivors learn that something else, something darker and dangerous, just might be involved. This small group of workers (led by Kristin Stewart, who looks as buff as an Olympic athlete) must navigate out of immediate danger (the facility they’re in is on the verge of a core meltdown) into a more unknown danger (they have to cross the ocean floor to get to another, untouched building). Also, it seems something is not only lurking in the deep, dark waters, but it appears to stalking them…
It’s no big secret that there are monsters down there, and the plucky survivors are in for the fight of their lives. There is a big reveal at the end, one that made my jaw drop and destroyed any reservations I might have had about the film up until that point. If you can, avoid the spoilers. If you can’t, sit back and enjoy the ride, because my goodness, what a ride it is. The movie opens rather quietly, but this lasts only a few seconds. We are immediately dumped into the action and from that point on, the movie is fairly non-stop. It careens from one scene to the next, breathlessly tossing the characters and the audience around with wild abandon. A lot of complaints have been register about this approach. Some critics have cried foul, saying we’re never given much opportunity to get to know the characters and care about them. Me, I liked it. I love learning about characters when they are thrown into the fire. Yes, there are little moments here and there where we learn more about each individual, but the movie doesn’t waste it’s time or ours by padding the action with a bunch of maudlin moments. This is cut and dried, get right to it, fly by the seat of your pants fun.
And fun is the right word. If you’re cranky about this movie, you might need to take a step back and remember why you love movies in general and, particularly, horror movies in specific. Is it derivative? You bet your ass it is. Underwater wears its influences on its sleeve and does so with pride and beaming joy. Lots of Alien in here, lots of Aliens, some winks at the Cloverfield universe, and then there’s that big reveal. Oh, yeah. About goddamned time we got something like this straight up in a film. Plenty of action, plenty of terror, very, very little blood. Don’t let the PG-13 rating throw you off; it’s got a ton of horror in it.
Basically, if you want to watch a fun, thrilling horror film, Underwater will be a real good time for you. If you want to grouse and nitpick and crybaby about lack of originality or the “science” of the situations (looking squarely at you, Prometheus haters), you can have fun, too. You can sit there and be miserable and soak up the wretchedness. The rest of us will be over in the corner, laughing and gasping and having ourselves a good old time.
Three Buckets of Blood out of Four
Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: www.kellymhudson.com