Movie Review: Underwater (2020)

Released in 2020, Underwater is a sci-fi horror directed by William Eubank (2014’s sci-fi The Signal, not 2007’s black comedy The Signal, the latter of which was a much better movie). The Kepler 822 drilling facility, located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, is suddenly struck by a devastating earthquake, leaving it’s crew stranded: engineer Norah (Kristen Stewart), Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel), day-shift worker Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), jokester Paul (T.J. Miller) and couple Emily (Jessica Henwick) and Liam (John Gallagher Jr., 10 Cloverfield Lane). With no other options, the crew decide to walk one mile across the ocean floor to another drilling platform, the Roebuck 641.

+ the cast is great in almost everything else they’re in, and they all play off each other nicely, but Stewart as the leading lady is a bit subdued, and often outshone by Miller, Cassel and Henwick. None of them stand out as good or bad
+ I have a fear of the ocean, particularly the things therein, so this ticked a few of my paranoia boxes. Even more, if there were things in the water, they were most unpleasant to look at, taking inspiration from one of my favourite horror authors

There are a lot of closeups of the (frankly, gorgeous) face of Kristen Stewart, but even they lose some claustrophobic effect the more they happen.

– frankly, there was just nothing here to this was not a unique movie, and could be described by simply naming many other movies, “but underwater” – Alien, The Descent, The Ruins, The Pyramid, The Ritual, The Hills Have Eyes – to name but a few. Just look at the title screen image above, and you’ll see the Alien comparisons

> At some point in production, this was teased by T.J. Miller as being part of the Cloverfield universe. That is not the case, but you could easily fan-canon some stuff together if you wanted

Should you see this film: This was not very good. A great cast were given nothing to work with, predictable moments abound and once the movie is over you’ll find it difficult to remember what parts were from this movie and what were from others.


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