Deep Fear (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Deep Fear (2022) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on January 17th, 2023 | Movie Review | Survival, Supernatural, Tourist, Thriller, Confined, Zombie, Nazi, Dangerous Exploration, B-Horror

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It's about three students who celebrate their graduation by going on an unauthorized exploration of the Paris catacombs, and discover a sinister force within a Nazi bunker.

Deep Fear was directed by Grégory Beghin  and stars Sofia LesaffreVictor Meutelet (Some Like It Rare), Joseph OlivennesKassim MeestersPhilippe Résimont (The Room), Olivier BonyBlaise Afonso, and Léone François-Janssens.

Deep Fear (2022) Review

Subterranean darkness is a primal fear: the underground world has always been seen as unknown, mysterious, and terrifying. It holds a sense of dread that goes beyond life experience. This fear is often portrayed to its fullest extent in horror media. With their lack of natural light and narrow, graffitied corridors, these unnerving settings easily create an atmosphere of suspense and terror.

Setting a film beneath the earth's surface has the potential to create an extra layer of claustrophobic terror. So I am happy to report that Deep Fear, set in the catacombs of Paris, is a broadly compelling horror story that uses an atmospheric location with a dark history. For those unfamiliar, the Parisian catacombs are a mass burial site containing the remains of at least six million people and are a popular tourist destination.

Sonia and her friends go on an unauthorized exploration of the catacombs and find themselves in uncharted territory. Their journey is full of surprises, and they must face their fears to make it back safely. But, unfortunately, what starts as a fun excursion quickly becomes a nightmarish experience with potentially fatal consequences.

Director Grégory Beghin's horror thriller Deep Fear expertly uses its short 80-minute runtime to create a constant peril for its protagonists. Beghin masterfully builds tension, effectively conveying the panic one would experience if lost and alone in a dark, unfamiliar place. The sensation of being lost deep underground is further underscored by the realization that the people are so close to the civilized world above ground. But they might as well be a million miles away, as they are lost, alone, and far enough below ground that no one above can hear them screaming for help.

Deep Fear utilizes effective tension-building techniques to keep the audience guessing what Sonia and her friends are up against. Are they merely lost and afraid, or is something sinister at play? Viewers ask this same question at the start of the third act.

This French horror film left a lasting impression on me because, before any details about the evil lurking below the surface, the catacombs are presented as a hostile force in and of themselves. This creates a tense relationship between the protagonists and their surroundings, making the eventual reveal all the more unexpected.

Some viewers may argue that the twist in the film comes as a surprise or that the first two parts are a different story than the third. These criticisms aren't wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Deep Fear and found it full of atmospheric scares, which more than made up for any missteps.

There are some problems with how the reveal is handled - it could be more believable, and some editing issues in some of the action scenes. However, despite some rough edges, Deep Fear has a lot to like. It's a film that will keep you on your toes and has a unique atmosphere that's quite creepy and unsettling. If you can look past its flaws, you'll find a movie worth watching.

Worth Watching? 

Deep Fear is a compelling horror movie that uses its setting to create a sense of unease and dread. The story is unpredictable and thrilling, and the film doesn't stretch on for too long.

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