Under The Water Things Are Just Kind Of… Eh (Movie Review)

UnderwaterAlright so I went to see Underwater (2020). This film is premiering in the notorious dead time of cinema… January. Reasonably so there was not a lot of buzz generated about this film. The only indication I had about this one coming out was from the invitation I received to come and review the film. Luckily for Underwater (2020) I love these type of films. Sci-fi films and tv shows were the foundation of my childhood so I never pass up an opportunity to watch something weird and out there. With all that being said I was pretty excited to see Underwater (2020). Lets’ grab our deep sea suits and dip our toes into the briny deep.

Underwater (2020) is an action/drama/horror directed by William Eubank, who’s best known for The Signal (2014) and Love (2011). The nautical nightmare is written by Brian Duffield, the writer of Insurgent (2015) and The Babysitter (2017), and Adam Cozad, the writer of Legend of Tarzan (2016) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). The stars of this tale in the dark depths of the ocean are Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, and Gunner Wright. Quite the small cast as compared to other films that I have reviewed, but the intimacy of the crew sells the seclusion of the environment. Underwater (2020) is produced by  Peter Chernin, Ford vs. Ferrari (2019),  Hidden Figures (2016), and Jenno Topping, who worked along side Chernin on the two aforementioned films, along with Tonia Davis, Snatched (2017) and The Greatest Showman (2017). Both Chernin and Topping were producers on War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), which was a fantastic looking film. The production values for Underwater (2020) were gorgeous. Without seeing a lot of the scenes from trailers, or other promotional materials, I have to mention that the suits and sets were stunning and quite detailed in the film. Everything that was displayed for the audience felt very real and functional. So what’s this film all about anyway? Let’s dive in!


I loved this premise! This film reminds me of Alien (1979) except on Earth and several miles below watery terrain that we, as inhabitants of this blue planet, are all too unfamiliar with. Underwater (2020) starts off strong and I admire it for its strength! Norah (Stewart) opening inner monologue and the way the camera moves through the first few scenes are great! Although the film gives us such a strong start with great character and camera work, I feel there is one particular part of the film that when it happens ends up dropping me out of the experience. Part of that dropping out of the film is due to the audience members I was sitting next to, but also it was a decision that the film made as well. Without saying too much there was a death that occurs in the film that  strangely brings the energy of the film down in ways that leave me feeling uninterested for a good part of the film.

We start off with a narration of our main character’s, Norah (Stewart), negative philosophy of the world as compared to her late better half. Immediately after Norah’s inner monologue there is an earthquake that ends up rupturing a section of the research lab that Norah and a few other characters are in. This quake brings our main characters together in order for them to find a way out of their soon to be watery grave. It is through suiting up and their combined efforts for survival that they seek out solutions to make it to the surface. This endeavor is not without an unexpected discovery. Though being under crushing depths in an almost foreign space to man isn’t enough to sell home the danger there is another force of nature, in the water, that keeps the crew from breathing a sigh of relief.

At the end of the day Underwater (2020) is a pretty good film… it is not bad, it is not great, but pretty good overall. I think that the film would have benefitted with continuing to give us the strength that they presented us with in the beginning. Now I am not sure if it was the perishing of a certain character that then turned the rest of the film into a slight bore fest with little sprinkles of excitement, but it definitely did not excite me as much as the beginning had. This one is middle of the road for me.


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