Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Underwater sinks as a horror film

The underwater creature feature genre gets another spin in 20th Century Fox’s Underwater from director William Eubank. Norah Price (Kristen Stewart) is the mechanical engineer in a crew of underwater researchers led by a nameless captain (Vincent Cassel). The rest of the team includes Paul (TJ Miller),Emily (Jessica Henwick), Liam (John Gallagher Jr), Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie) and Lee (Gunner Wright).  

Given that the setting for Underwater takes place in the deep sea, it’s only natural there’s a disastrous incident to kick off our plot.  After an earthquake destroys their lab, Norah and the rest of the team must make their way to safety. What the team doesn’t know is that the quake has also awoken some creatures who aren’t too keen on having intruders in their ocean. Will Norah and her co-workers make it out alive, or will they become fish food? In hindsight, Underwater’s simple premise should’ve been more fun than it is. 

Let’s start with the casting, outside of Kristen Stewart’s Norah, who serves as our heroine.  A talented actress in her own right, Stewart is just going through the motions in Underwater. Watching the film, it’s clear that Stewart is only here for a paycheck and not for the art.  The rest of the cast is on autopilot, and there wasn’t one character that I had the desire to see make it out alive. The only time an audience should root for a killer is during a slasher film. Generally, in a horror film, you want to see one character, make it out alive. However, Underwater is the first film I can recall where I wanted the entire cast to bite the dust.

Initially, once Underwater began, I was hopeful that the film would fall into the category of either matinee worthy or rainy day view. Sadly the film never reaches the pinnacle of either, and its ninety-minute run felt like two hours.  Throughout the film there were numerous where my son and I both glanced at our watches waiting for the film to end. The potential is there, but the result is a rush job. Science fiction/horror films set in the deep sea are nothing new. As an eighties baby, I can remember seeing Leviathan and The Abyss on TV. 

The nineties had the shark feature Deep Blue Sea, while 2018 had The Meg.   That being said, director William Eubank and scriptwriters, Brian Duffield & Adam Cozad know the type of film they’ve made with Underwater.  Duffield wrote the vastly superior horror-comedy The Babysitter, while Adam Cozart did a decent job with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Given the talent between the two, I’m taken aback at the lazy approach to Underwater. The same sentiment holds for director William Eubank, who destroys any promise he showed in 2014’s The Signal.

At its core, Underwater is a big-budget B-movie that steals from much better films with the same concept, however, Underwater fails by taking itself too seriously and never giving the audience exactly what it paid for, which is tense moments.


Final Grade D-

Movie Clappers

More to explorer

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare mixes action and comedy

Acclaimed director Guy Ritchie continues churning content as his latest film, “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” from Lionsgate, hits theaters. Ritchie, along with Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, and Arash Amel, co-writes the screenplay, which is an adaptation of Damien Lewis’ book “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops.”

The Upshaws return for an engaging fifth season

Season 5 of Netflix’s “The Upshaws” has arrived, welcoming back the patriarch, Bennie Upshaw (played by Mike Epps), and his family as they navigate life in the Hoosier state. The series continues to follow the lives of a Black working-class family living in Indianapolis. Bennie is a charming and well-intentioned mechanic who wants to provide for his family. Still, his tendency to overthink the simplest of situations and chaos often leads to humorous situations. The Upshaw family includes Bennie’s wife Regina (played by Kim Fields), their two young daughters Aaliyah (portrayed by Khali Daniya-Renee Spraggins) and Maya (played by Journey Christine), and their firstborn son Bernard (played by Jermelle Simon). Also living with them is Kelvin (Diamond Lyons), Bennie’s son, from another woman (Gabrielle Dennis).

Sunset Sasquatch is a quirky family dramedy

The Zellner brothers have created a new film named “Sasquatch Sunset,” which explores the world of Sasquatches. The film is produced by Bleeker Street and is set in North America’s misty forests. It follows the journey of a family of Sasquatches – Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, and Nathan Zellner – possibly the last of their kind. Over one year, they embark on an absurd, epic, hilarious, and ultimately poignant journey, fighting for survival as they collide with the ever-changing world. These hairy and noble giants will make you laugh, cry, and root for their survival as they adjust to the changing world.


© Copyright Reviews & Dunn. All rights reserved

website designed by Red Robin Digital designers