There’s something inherently scary about the ocean that I can’t even begin to describe in words. The mere thought of miles and miles of water with god-knows-what in it is enough to keep me up at night. And thus, I decided to watch Underwater, a 2020 Sci-Fi horror movie, starring Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, and T.J. Miller. And I was actually pleasantly surprised.
The ocean’s a dark place, literally
Underwater starts off with a bang – no literally, the film starts with an explosion. From the first moment the movie makes itself clear to its audiences – there will be no fooling around. Whatever they want to show us is pretty serious. So there’s hardly any beating around the bush here. After that initial moment, it’s always go-go-go and that actually helps keep the tension intact. Though, of course, there are some moments of respite in the form of humour, those are short-lived. Underwater never overdoes its humour, neither is it devoid of it, and that’s a balance we like.
Kinda similar, but not really
I’ve heard this movie is compared to others like The Meg, which, I won’t lie, I enjoyed watching a lot. So, I did get into Underwater thinking it will be something similar. But damn was I wrong. I mean, both of these movies are, you know, under the water and are concerned with big, unknown creatures. However, the difference is in the tone. While The Meg had a lot of comic moments, Underwater is dark and gritty. The shots are beautiful and portray exactly what the situation needs it to. The despair and loss of faith that the crew feels are portrayed very clearly to the audiences. I watched the entire movie with bated breath. It was as if, if I breathed too hard, the creatures might hear me. I honestly wonder what would’ve happened if I had watched it the theatres – actually, I wish I had the chance.
Underwater is a claustrophobic movie and I loved it because of this reason. I think every shot, every scene is wonderfully done and holds the tension right from the beginning till the very end. The moment the crew went underwater, I felt like I was in the dark, alone, and with no idea of what is out there.
This needs its very own subhead
Kristen Stewart is the reason why you should watch Underwater. No, I’m serious. She’s phenomenal. The despair, the anxiety, the sorrow – you could see all that in every scene on her face. She carries the entire weight of the movie on her shoulders, and she does an excellent job at it. It’s sad to see that not enough people give her credit for all the excellent movies she has done since (or before) Twilight. It is also a shame that that movie is the only thing people remember her for. She’s a great actress, in my opinion. And she shows that off here, and how!
Stewart’s Norah is a badass in Underwater. Seriously, we need more women like her in movies. She’s strong, independent and thinks about others over herself. But she also has a past and things that she regrets. She’s human, but with a backbone made of steel. She’s one of the best characters in the film for me.
Other than her, Vincent Cassel as Lucien is also excellent and is probably my second favourite character. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers – seriously, go watch this one when you get the opportunity.
All in all, Underwater is an excellent entertainer that will keep you at the edge of your seats.