Kristen Stewart stars in a creature feature that has a tight running time and gives you just enough to want more despite the film just being a mediocre survival horror movie. The B list content is elevated by an A list cast including Kristen Stewart and TJ Miller who have some great chemistry during the 90 minute action packed adventure.
The story is set in a drilling site seven miles below the surface as an oil company have depleted all resources above ground. When an earthquake starts tearing the rig apart, mechanical engineer Norah (Kristen Stewart) and a bunch of surivors including the Captain (Vincent Cassel) Rodrigo (Mamoudo Athie) and Paul (T.J. Miller) must travel to a place to reach an escape pod to get back to the surface.
As they race against time and deal with obvious things like water pressure, oxygen, and if that wasn’t enough a bunch of mysterious creatures have been released from all the drilling that are killing all forms of life. There is a bunch of tropes in the story that you can see coming a mile away and while it can be a bit frustrating and seem like a wasted opportunity, the performances from the principal cast and the mood and atmosphere from director William Eubank do offer some solace.
Eubank has been able to set the tone with a moody and sombre film that showcases the murkiness of the unknown depths. The camera scenes are murky and the filters of light create the perfect feeling of the unknown. This is complimented by the music (or lack thereof) and sound effects of bubbles and terror as the creature stalks the surviving crew.
The creatures themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. The small Alien looking creature that looks fresh from Sony’s Life is terrifying and while it only gets a short life on screen, the fact that it rips a human through their pressurised suit to devour them, is one of the most unsettling parts of the movie. The larger Cloverfield style creatures click and intimidate and their stalking prowess keeps things moving. Then there is the massive gargantuan creature that you only get a few glimpses of. While it is initmidating, it is only really present in the final moments of the film.
What could have been a great opportunity to kick start a monster franchise that takes Alien underwater, was a bit of a wasted opportunity. There are some great performances and special effects used, but overall this is a mediocre survival thriller that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Fans of the genre may be a little picky with this mediocre offering, this film is best experienced if you walk into the cinema with your brain turned off, ready for a fun January movie.
Underwater is showing in cinemas now.