Film Review – Underwater

If there was ever to be a film adaptation of BioShock or Half-Life this is the aesthetic I’d want. Director William Eubank (Love, The Signal) has crafted a world that feels full and lived in. Kristen Stewart leads the cast featuring Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, and T.J. Miller. The chemistry between cast members is immediately apparent and really benefits the film. I really had a good time with this film and it saddens me that it doesn’t seem to be getting its due.

To summarise the film cheaply would be to call it Cloverfield under the sea. This is by no means derogatory as I’m a fan of that franchise. It really gave me the feeling of those movies which was helped by T.J. Miller and John Gallagher Jr. who have both appeared in Cloverfield movies. I guess essentially it’s a genre-monster movie with an M (PG-13) rating but also with a real sense of “bigger picture” and adventure.

Kristen Stewart was fantastic in this film. I never thought she’d shake the “Twilight girl” bias from my mind but boy did she deliver. I was really interested and invested in her character. She anchored the film and was my tether throughout the film’s journey. She gave some narration during the film which I felt was somewhat unnecessary but that’s not really her fault at all.

The score was like if John Carpenter could conduct an orchestra. It was eerie and sci-fi. The music really complimented the movie’s atmosphere. Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts are jointly credited for the music. I’m not sure if they worked as a team or if one was brought in later. However the collaboration worked it was really effective. It was perfect for the movie.

The film felt like it was cut to shreds by producers. It’s a 95min film which is usually a good indication for a film like this that there’s been some tampering. The movie flies by the seat of its pants and doesn’t let scenes really breathe. It’s coherent enough to be considered watchable but I would certainly love to see a 2 hour cut of this film. There’s definitely some details that were missed because the studio didn’t have faith in the film. That said it was a slightly easier prospect to take a risk on seeing a film I was unsure of with such a short running time. You’d hate to be stuck in a cinema for over 2 hours with a stinker of a movie.

If you’re a fan of Bad Robot productions or movies like The Abyss then this is for you. If you like Lovecraft or Valve video games…basically nerdy genre stuff then check it out. This could be a film that finds its audience on home video and I truly hope it does. I was honestly surprised at how much “my shit” this film was. It spoke to my tastes and while I do have issues I had a ton of fun watching it. There’s worse things then being entertained for 95 minutes and there’s also worse things than taking a chance on a film that runs that long. I think it’s worth the chance.

Hits the ground running and never stops:

★★★★

Written by Benjamin Boekelaar