Hey, there’s gonna be a few spoilers here for Underwater. So don’t read on if you haven’t seen it. But if you have, or if you just don’t care, proceed with delight!
Kristen Stewart didn’t *need* to have a fantastic haircut to be great in Underwater but it certainly had me internally screaming triumphant cheers for her at the beginning of the film. Likewise, this surreal and chaotic year didn’t *need* to begin with a surprise aquatic horror hit about Cthulhu, but that also has me cheering. I didn’t see Underwater in theaters when it was released, and I regret it. I bet it was a really entertaining watch on the big screen. Will we still have movie theaters after this pandemic life ends? I hope so. We’ll see. But that’s another day and another post.
What I love about horror movies set in or around the ocean is that the ocean is freaking scary for a multitude of reasons. Not just the monsters that live within, but the terror of the environment and our inability to survive. The action begins right away with a huge explosion at the gigantic oil drilling site deep in the ocean. At that point, we have no idea that it’s due to a mythical monster but that doesn’t matter! Explosions are always cool. A small crew of survivors set out to reach a new rig that will supposedly have working escape pods. The only issue is that the majority of these survivors have no idea how to deal with the crushing pressure of being so far underwater. And that is a problem for poor Rodrigo almost immediately. What a horrific way to die. And you’re chumming the waters for who knows what kinds of deep sea beasts!
Shenanigans (seananigans?) continue to ensue as the survivors fight the environment and some creepy looking humanoid monsters that are HANGRY. There were some quality death scenes that really do seem hellish when you think about them. I find TJ Miller to be super obnoxious, which he loves, but he was subdued enough in this one that he didn’t bother me. And I found his stuffed bunny to be kinda freakin endearing. My friend informed me that the bunny was actually supposed to be a live rabbit, but like, logistics, man. But fucking Emily, ugh. She had a journey in this movie. I was so annoyed by her but she ended up being pretty much a bad ass and even offered to sacrifice herself so K. Stew could live. But Kristen gave her solid advice to follow her soulmate, Smith. Speaking of Emily and her love for Smith, did anyone else know that rising horror darling John Gallagher was on Broadway? Yeah, I didn’t either.
I’m going to talk about the ending now. First, I wonder what they would have done if more than three people had survived? Kind of convenient how the number of pods matched the number of survivors, even if one of them was faulty. Second, I do think that Kristen Stewart’s character could have fixed the pod. She was an engineering badass throughout the whole movie. But I get that her sacrifice was necessary as the hangry humanoids were ascending quickly to her friends. Lastly: OH MY GOD IT REALLY WAS CTHULHU. That is so awesome. I read a few articles arguing that Underwater is the movie we needed in the Cloverfield universe. As someone who has only recently seen the first Cloverfield, I agree that it would fit in nicely. TJ Miller even references an oil team drilling too deep and unleashing mythical monsters in Cloverfield. Inspiration, much?
Damn, I know I’m not alone when I say I’m stoked about the rise in popularity of monster movies. Fingers crossed we get to meet some more on screen monster baddies real soon!