Sunday Movies: Underwater
Underwater is an interesting movie as it takes a place that we know almost nothing about and makes it into something we've seen several times before.
A survival horror set on the bottom of the ocean.
Namely, a survival horror that deals with otherworldly entities that all seem to either live on, or serve, a larger one.
That's right... this is a Lovecraft film.
Now, I was excited when I first saw it as I gambled on that fact right out the gate. I'm a huge fan of the sub genre Lovecraft forged when he penned his terrible tales so many years ago, and the fact that there really hasn't been a decent film adaptation has always bothered me.
Now, sadly, Underwater doesn't delve to deep into the mountains of lore that has been made into Lovecraft's expanded universe. It only hints at it, namely in the final scene and with a directors interview. William Eubank, the director of this delightful movie, spilled the beans when interviewed by popular Youtuber Mr. H. "Yeah, spoiler art, this is a secret Lovecraft love story, where you get to see Cthulhu briefly at the end." The monsters of this film seem to live around the great beast itself on the ocean floor, where some unlucky scientists have been stationed to study the natural wonders that lay beneath the waves. The plot of the film is in no way stellar, I regret to say. Most of it is fairly predictable (save a few choice surprises) and the pacing is so-so. Some parts drag on a fair bit, but when the movie picks up, it does so at a dead sprint.
The acting is surprisingly good, something that is a rare find in modern horror films. Kristen Stewart really sells her character, and makes the film move in ways that you'd never have guessed possible.
The CGI is what calls this feature home, truth be told. The creatures are alien and unnerving, yet still recognizable as something that could actually exist. They seem almost like hornets defending a nest, or bees following the command of their queen. They have almost no discernible personality beyond canny predators, yet become a character all their own through the realistic movements the film portrays them to have in the pitch darkness deep underwater.
It's a must see, and as the movie comes out for DVD/Blu-Ray and streaming services this Tuesday, I say you take full advantage and grab a copy.