Bravo. They actually managed to make a good January Horror movie for once. It’s about time time that happened. I don’t know what it is, but that month for some reason just feels like it’s cursed to be a dumping ground for crappy films.
Underwater (2020) is directed by William Eubank, produced by TSG Entertainment, and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
A relatively small number of cast members are introduced such as Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, and Jessica Henwick.
A drilling station deep beneath the ocean floor becomes compromised after a calamity strikes and water rushes into cracks of walls.
The survivors of this shelter realize that the only way to overcome this situation is to literally walk across the sea floor to reach the primary area of their station.
Led by their captain, they soon discover that there are other mysterious and terrifying creatures lurking among them.
Not only must they fear the danger of exposing themselves to the body-ripping ocean atmosphere.
They now have to explicitly fight for their lives against unknown beings with deadly intentions.
Good But Repetitive Direction
Wow. I was actually surprised by how well this movie turned out to be.
I first came into it thinking it was gonna lose my interest within the first 10 minutes. This is because-well, you know-January movies and all that.
But in this case, it rather caught my attention quite quickly.
The beginning intro doesn’t play around trying to prove something greatly cinematic. Instead, the direction is taken straight to the point and it continues with the thrilling elements in the long run.
The only downside to it though is that it seems to keep following the same pattern of story progression.
One moment the aquatic scientists have to work together to solve a problem, they solve it, and then move on to the next problem.
The director pretty much uses that formula throughout the beginning to ending, leaving no room to establish growth and development by focusing more on creating a meaningful subplot.
For the most part however, I was kept thrilled through the use of effective action scenes.
Light Humor Dialogue
The humor wasn’t that bad. Maybe a little.
The writing mostly is covered in science talk and minor jokes to lighten the mood.
T.J. Miller of course is the one that brings the comical relief when it’s needed. There were some scenes that made me laugh a little, I’ll be honest.
They’re not all perfect at comedy, to be clear, but they were decent and amusing in a relatable sense.
For example, there was one scene involving a Moonpie treat.
The dialogue exchange that both Miller and John Gallagher Jr. had when grasping that snack was semi-comical enough to exude light chuckles.
I will also mention that, at certain times, the writing sadly turns a bit cliche’. Sometimes it gets too old to hear and, unfortunately, sounds like it’s missing some authenticity.
Decent Underwater CGI
The underwater visuals, in reference to monsters in the sea and the surrounding environment, were developed good enough to spark chilling vibes within me.
They weren’t the best looking as I could barely see anything when the researchers were walking across the ocean floor.
I felt like I had to squint my eyes in certain moments to get a clear reading on what was being shown, or at least what tried to be shown.
Particularly, I was really impressed with the way the environment in the drilling stations were illustrated.
When the characters were running around frantically trying to subdue and overcome the previous situation, the imagery around them constructively served to portray the whole scenes in a claustrophobic and cramped manner.
I could definitely feel the danger that was imminent to them. In regards to the monsters themselves, I don’t really have much to complain or praise about them.
They weren’t developed horribly bad, neither were they depicted with extremely striking aesthetics. They were just…meh.
Underdeveloped Character Performances
I didn’t really have an issue with the cast members’ performances themselves. They were depicted decently well.
Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel were great together on screen and effectively implemented an exciting tone throughout most of the plot.
T.J. Miller obviously was the funny guy that was responsible for providing a carefree and entertaining mood.
I state underdevelopment due to the characters not really being given much room for trying something new. They all mostly follow a predictable style of trying to survive their obstacles in front of them, and not much is done by them to really make themselves appear more than just these random people struggling to live.
I would’ve liked to see them engage more in dramatic dialogue to increase the persuasion and compelling aspects.
That probably would’ve done wonders to shifting the plot to a better refined structure.
Overall, I had an okay time watching Underwater. It’s not the best Horror thriller to be produced, but it’s certainly enough to strike some shocking nerves in you.
In a beneficial way, the runtime isn’t even that long. It’s at a good and steady pace of an hour and a half.
There’s no extra exposition that didn’t need to be included either. It sticks to the point, starting from the intro, then guides you along an exciting adventure.
That’s not really too bad if you ask me. The movie’s also not trying to pass itself off as if it should be considered for a best production.
It’s simply a brief, engaging roller coaster that takes you on a relatively exhilarating ride. And it stays honorably true to that style by the ending.
FP Score – Noteworthy