WHAT can be more claustrophobic and terrifyingly heart-wrenching than being seven miles (about 11.3km) underwater?
That’s like over 10 times the height of the tallest building in the world, but in the opposite direction!
And who knows what lurks in the dark depths of the deep blue sea? Well, this science fiction thriller takes place in such an environment.
A group of scientists are conducting research in a sea laboratory but an earthquake suddenly raises the already high stakes.
Now the six surviving members have to deal with fast depleting oxygen levels and think of a way to get to the surface soon since their regular equipment has been badly damaged.
What’s more disconcerting is that the earthquake has unleashed something from deep within that does not look too kindly to the humans down there.
The crew’s surviving captain, played by Vincent Cassel, must rally and guide the other five members, played by Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. and Mamoudou Athie, to work together to rise above their unfortunate situation.
Directed by William Eubank (of Love and The Signal fame), Underwater was well made with pretty good production values and crafted scenes that was able to bring the viewer into the seemingly real and gritty underworld environment of the movie.
There were a few claustrophobic sequences, from really tight spaces to walking in the literal darkness of the ocean below, that were genuinely scary and exciting at the same time.
True to the genre, not everyone would survive the journey to safety and the various actors delivered decent performances, especially Stewart as Norah, the determined mechanical engineer, and Henwick as Emily, the biologist who initially freaked out.
Although it had moments for the characters to emote and the ending prepared viewers for some moving conclusions, what eventually played out was a mixed bag of nicely-put-together-but-seen-that-before scenarios.
The movie certainly drew inspiration from various other Hollywood productions that featured space monsters or deep-water settings, such as Alien, Prometheus, The Abyss and its ilk.
That said, the final reveal of whatever dwells at the bottom of the ocean was interesting enough and quite terrifying as well.
Unfortunately, it won't stay with you for long, kind of like how you'd forget about a rollercoaster rush the minute it's over and you're back on solid ground.
Bottom line, it's a pretty decent thrill ride that will satisfy fans of the genre and those looking to catch a fairly good, straight-forward sci-fi movie.
Just don't expect too much and you'll be on board with this.
Directed by William Eubank
Starring Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, T.J. Miller
Duration 95 minutes