“It’s like Aliens, but”… you probably have heard these words more times than you wish, and i remember a similar situation some years ago, when the sci-fi horror thriller Life (starring Jack Gyllenhaal) came out, a good movie, but also one that fully deserved that comparison for actually having a similar plot focused on a crew trying to survive a killer alien lifeform in space.
Viceversa, i understand why many made this comparison again for William Eubank’s new movie, Underwater, because despite the completely opposite setting, it fits the typical sci-fi horror- thriller formula like a glove, and you can effectively swap out “deep space” for “ocean’s abyssus abyssum” without having to change pretty much anything.
The plot sees a deep-sea mining facility being unexpectedly torn apart by an unknown force, with the few survivors in the structure uniting in order to find a way to another outpost, in the hope of finding escape pods before the main drill’s nuclear core erupts, but as they venture into the depths, they also find horrible and vicious creatures lying in wait and quite ready to pick them off, if faulty equipment and the dangerous living conditions didn’t already…
The director of The Signal (the one from 2014 with Lawrence Fishburne, not the other one) here didn’t feel like reinventing anything or playing around with the genre, but then again it becomes pretty clear the intention was just to make a fun sci-fi horror thriller (not that advertising was deceptive, quite the contrary), one i’m glad it’s set underwater instead of space after all.
And on this regard, the movie delivers, with good cinematography, decent atmosphere, good creature design, decent characters, and a satysfing finale. Story is sadly derivative as it gets, but despite this, i’d quite entertaining, and worth a watch.