Review: Underwater

Underwater (2020)

Director: William Eubank

Writers: Brian Duffield and Adam Cozard

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr, Mamoudou Athie, and T.J. Miller

Plot: A underwater mining facility is attacked by mysterious deep sea creatures.

January is a crappy month for movies. Usually studios just dump in whatever crap they aren’t confident in, whether they’re afraid that the quality isn’t great or they just don’t think it’ll make money. That’s why we’ve been getting a lot of movies like The Grudge, Like a Boss, and the upcoming Dolittle. Occasionally, a movie breaks out though. There’s usually one a year. 2009’s was Taken. 2017 had Split. Last year had Escape Room. Well, Underwater is 2020’s.

Yeah. This movie is actually pretty good. And it’s one of those movies that just keeps getting better as it unfolds.

It starts off pretty basic. There’s a really intense opening sequence. Then, we kind of calm down into a typical monster movie. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing super special about it either. The monsters are scary and have some pretty interesting kills. The characters are likable. They each have very specific, very rounded personalities, which is unique for a horror film. But, the camera work and score just make it impossible to get super involved. There’s a definite overuse of shaky cam and none of the scares land quite as well as they should’ve. While I was watching the first two thirds, I had no idea how I was going to review it. It was kind of just meh. There was nothing bad about it, but I wasn’t really wrapped up in it either. It’s kind of just a run of the mill, slightly better than average take on the underwater creature scare fest.

Then, in the third act, something changed. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that we get to see the true nature of the monsters. It’s visually stunning and a cool twist. It’s still not anything new or groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but I perked up quite a bit. If you’re a fan of monster movies, I think you’ll enjoy it too.

The other thing that really makes this movie is Kristen Stewart. I’ve always thought she was super underrated and she shows that off again here. The amount of emotion she puts on display throughout this whole movie but especially during the climax is impressive. I challenge anyone who thinks she’s a wooden actor to not feel emotion for her in the finale of Underwater. It’s really well done.

TL;DR: I really recommend this movie to anyone who likes monster flicks. It starts off just ok but has a pretty great finale.

Score: 7/10 (Good)

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