Underwater is a 2020 science fiction horror film directed by William Eubank. The story follows a group of scientists and engineers working at a deep sea drilling facility, who are stranded on the ocean floor after an earthquake destroys their station. With limited resources and time, they must journey through the dangerous depths of the ocean to reach safety at a nearby research facility. Along the way, they encounter terrifying creatures and must fight for survival while dealing with the psychological stress of being trapped in a hostile environment. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, and John Gallagher Jr.
S P O I L E R S
Underwater begins with a team of scientists and engineers working at a deep-sea drilling facility located several miles below the surface of the ocean. Suddenly, an earthquake destroys the station, leaving the team stranded and with limited resources. They soon discover that they are not alone in the depths of the ocean, and that terrifying creatures are hunting them.
The team, led by captain Lucien, and including Norah (Kristen Stewart), the mechanical engineer, decide to make a journey through the dangerous depths to reach a nearby research facility that might offer a chance of survival. Along the way, they face many obstacles and challenges, such as structural damage to the underwater tunnels and lack of oxygen. Additionally, they must deal with the psychological stress of being trapped in a hostile environment and not knowing if they will make it out alive.
As they journey through the depths, the team starts to realise that the creatures hunting them are not natural but something far more sinister. They soon come to the realisation that the creatures are the result of the drilling and the destruction of the ocean floor. The team must fight for survival and overcome their fears as they desperately try to reach the research facility before their oxygen runs out.
In the end, the team reaches the research facility but with heavy casualties. Norah and the remaining survivors learn that they are the only ones left, and they must find a way to escape and survive the creatures. The film concludes with the team’s escape and the revelation of the company’s role in the disaster.
It’s fair to say that Underwater is highly derivative and anybody with a decent knowledge of film history will find the influences of Alien, The Abyss, The Poseiden Adventure et al, without too much difficulty. Not only that but by the time one reaches the third act and the big bad monster is presented, one cannot escape the visual similarity with H.P. Lovecraft’s iconic Cthulu mythic creature. But almost as an afterthought!
When one considers that Underwater costs about $50 – 80 million but never bothered to imbue the writing with any engagement, existential dread or even basic horror, it’s no wonder it was a colossal flop! A pity because the premise held promise.
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