Underwater ★ ★ ★ 1/2 Letterboxd Score
Direction by: William Eubank
Screenplay: William Eubank, Adam Cozad, Brian Duffield
Starring: Kristen Stewart, T. J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick
Walt Disney Studios, In Theatres January 10th
“Underwater” serves its purpose as it thrills and mystifies you with its dark underwater, otherworldly landscape.
Of course, “Underwater” is not Best Picture material. It’s not even so much a game changer, or culturally shifting however it is simple enough to provide an entertaining experience that is actually quite enjoyable. This type of genre has been done and—I know you’ve heard it already before, but it’s easily most compared to “Alien”. With all that being said, should you go see it? Yes, I think you might enjoy this B-list style, made with A-list money movie.
“Underwater” starts out nonchalantly as Norah (Kristen Stewart) is brushing her teeth, seemingly the only on awake on this submerged station (presumably located in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean). Norah is deep in thoughts, muttering little gems of wisdom. You can tell that she can sense the uncertainty, that something bad is going to happen and as soon as Kristen Stewart gives you that glary-glare that she so glare-fully does every time, an earthquake strikes and causes so much chaos as the water breaks through their sleeping quarters. One thing that “Underwater” takes advantage of is the coveted slow-motion scene and they actually execute it pretty well, you see that happen in this chaotic scene. Norah attempts to wake up all of her fellow teammates, only being able to save Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), they have to make the terrifying decision to save themselves by sacrificing the others and sealing the door. From here they make their way to a command center where they meet up with Ze Capitane (Vincent Cassel), Smith (John Gallagher Jr.), Emily (Jessica Henwick) and Paul (T. J. Miller). They conjure up this hap hazard that is dramatically ironic and will possibly get them killed, but they don’t really have a choice and so they embark.
“Underwater” fulfills its purpose as a hollow monster/disaster thriller. Offering one-dimensional characters (They die off so fast so why would you want to get to know them?) and a simple plot. I think if you watch it with that mindset then you won’t be disappointed. It’s really not half bad, for what it is.