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article imageReview: ‘Underwater’ responds well to pressure Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jan 9, 2020 in Entertainment
‘Underwater’ is a sci-fi horror picture that unfolds in the all-encompassing darkness of the ocean floor where a stranded drill crew must not only survive the elements, but whatever unseen creatures are stalking them.
“Leave no rock unturned” certainly has its pros and cons. As humans scour every inch of the Earth, they turn their sights to the deepest depths of the ocean. Once where no man could survive the pressure, it’s only a matter of time before exploration becomes excavation. But what hides in the dark or deep below the ocean floor? What may our meddling awaken and how will it react to our intrusion? For years, movies have proposed previously undisturbed, uncharted areas were home to creatures ready to exact Mother Nature’s revenge. Consequently, they’ve unleashed something in Underwater and it’s not feeling very welcoming.
The Kepler station is only one of several facilities located on the ocean floor. When it’s compromised, some crew members escape in pods and others are trapped in a structure slowly collapsing in on itself. Nora (Kristen Stewart), a mechanical engineer, is one of a handful of survivors. Led by Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel), the group sets out to reach their only hope of escape — a station more than a mile away — by doing the unthinkable: walking across the ocean floor in individual dive suits. But they’re not the only ones out there. Something is stalking them and the closer they get to their destination, the fewer their numbers become.
Science fiction thrillers have long relied on the prospect that something smarter and/or more vicious than anything previously encountered resides in the world’s unexplored territories. From remote jungles to arctic glaciers to distant sea depths, it’s impossible to know what may have evolved, survived or become dormant in these regions. But there’s one thing most of the films agree on: these unknown beasts are not laying out the welcome mats and they don’t take kindly to being disturbed. In this film, the hunters are hidden by darkness for most of the first and second acts, only giving audience’s glimpses of what they’ll likely eventually face in a kill or be killed standoff.
The cast is a suitable motley crew of personalities. Stewart’s character is calmest when she has a technical problem to resolve, while Cassel assumes the role of a captain committed to his responsibility to protect his team. T.J. Miller’s character is the comic relief, playing the one crazy guy that seems to always be a part of these no man’s land expeditions. Of course, the other part of the ensemble is their unidentified enemies, which are always nearby.
The special effects whip audiences into the film in the opening minutes and keep them there for the remainder of the picture. The conclusion will be reminiscent of other movies, but that’s part of its appeal rather than a weakness.
Director: William Eubank
Starring: Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller and Vincent Cassel
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