Underwater (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Underwater (2020) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on April 25th, 2020 | Movie Review | Survival, Sci-Fi, Creature, Dangerous Exploration

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It's like Alien, but underwater.

Underwater was directed by William Eubank and stars Kristen Stewart (from Lizzie and The Messengers), John Gallagher Jr. (from Hush and 10 Cloverfield Lane), and Mamoudou Athie (from The Circle).

7 Miles Below the Ocean Surface Something Has Awakened

Underwater is a generic movie we've seen countless times before. And those bastards over at Fox knew it, they held onto the thing for years before slipping it into theaters in January like we wouldn't notice.

It's a sci-fi creature feature that was clearly based off Alien but with a little Event Horizon and some Pandorum sprinkled in. It also has some strong Matrix vibes considering they hijacked the same special effects. You know the one, where they slow down the action mid air to give you a good view of all the little details before speeding it back up. The Matrix came out in 1999, that's 21 long years ago people.

You know what's also an old school movie cliche that was played out years ago? Jump scares. Underwater beats those up too, between all the Matrix effects. They honestly started to really wear me out after awhile. Every damn time you caught a glimpse of the creature it had to scream at full volume for some reason. Let's not forget they were near the sea floor, and fish don't scream.

One last gripe before I move onto the cool aspects of this movie.

Bella from Twilight (Kristen Stewart) plays the lead role, which would be fine if she had more than one character. But like Jim Carrey and Amy Poehler, she's always the same. This means she oozes tragic desperation, even though she's an action lead. Her eyes are constantly crying out to the screen which doesn't fit 99% of the situations she's in. It really pulled me out of the movie.

Alright, all that aside, there were some cool things about Underwater that saved it from being a dud. Entire first part of the movie set a great tone that carried it throughout. It starts with a complete lack of score which was a nice touch. I really like when movies use a complete lack of sound to create tension. And Underwater goes from complete silence to complete chaos within the first 10 minutes, which is unique because this level of action is something you normally see in the last 10 minutes, during a climax. Flipping the script like this was a fun start.

The creatures were also really cool. I won't get into any spoilers, but they're worth the wait and the movie approaches them well, only giving you glimpses which keeps things mysterious. And the actual presence of crazy creatures isn't so far-fetched since the movie took place at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and was about a drilling expedition that drilled even deeper than the sea floor. The bottom of the Mariana Trench is about 7 miles. If you threw Mount Everest in the summit would still be 7,000 ft under water. So, it could happen.

Worth Watching? 

I personally didn't like this movie at all. To me, it was Bella in a diving suit. Take Bella out and it was Alien underwater. Take Alien out and it was every low-budget survival movie you've ever seen. Underwater wasn't low-budget, but countless other low-budget movies basically made this same movie for less. But, if you're a fan of sci-fi creature features than it is a good movie for that.

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