Underwater (2020) a (Mildly) Belated Review

Released early this year in the usual movie release graveyard period of January and, if memory serves, after considerable delay -another usually not terribly good sign- the movie Underwater, starring Kristen Stewart, was released to middling reviews (over at Rottentomatoes.com it earned an almost dead average 48% positive rating among critics yet a more favorable 60% positive among audiences) before disappearing.

While it seemed few noticed it coming and going, the film found a bit of life afterwards and once it was released to home video. It was at that time I found people online giving the movie good reviews and noting it should have done better and really wasn’t all that bad at all.

Here’s the movie’s trailer:

I picked up the digital copy of the film when it was on sale and yesterday, before all the electoral madness really began, watched it and…

…I have to admit, it isn’t all that bad.

Having said that, neither do I feel the film is particularly strong… the fact of the matter is that there are other and better films that feature very similar elements.

Perhaps #1 on that list is the 1979 classic film Alien.

The fact of the matter is that Underwater is a deep sea combo version of both Alien and Aliens with a creature menace that’s rather bland, unfortunately, compared to that presented there.

Interestingly, I thought the film was at its very best in the earlier going, before we are introduced to the monster, when our cast experiences the destruction of their habitat, a deep sea structure they work in.

The first roughly 15-20 minutes of the film moved along really well and were quite exciting if, again, not necessarily original.

There was, though, some really good tension as the few survivors get together and form a desperate plan to “walk” along the sea floor and to another structure and its rescue pods.

But, as the trailer makes clear, just because they make it out of the falling apart rig doesn’t mean they’re safe… and soon enough they come face to face with an eerie deep sea menace, creatures which seem almost Lovecraftian in design, and from there, alas, things kinda fall into place like you expect, with several of the cast being picked off until the final climax/showdown with the creatures… and a desperate chance at escape.

While it may sound like I’m down (pun intended?) on Underwater, I didn’t think the film was a total bust by any means. Thanks to that wonderful opening act, the movie itself moved along well as a decent popcorn flick which, again, obviously echoed other -better- films.

Still, I can’t say I was totally turned off by what I saw. If I were to give the movie a rating based on 4 stars being superb and 1 star being terrible, I’d give Underwater 2 and 1/2 stars.

A decent popcorn time killer and nothing more.