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Underwater

Video Guy took a chance on a spooky film: “Underwater,” available on Hulu. Kristen Stewart, in a role that is decidedly not “Twilight,” plays a mechanical engineer on a submersible deep sea oil rig which is operating in the Mariana Trench. The trench, the earth’s deepest at almost 7 miles, has apparently spawned some nasty creatures.

No sooner does the film begin than all hell breaks loose on the rig: explosions and a serious breach of the vessel’s life-sustaining environment. The crew must immediately take evasive action to survive, and as you might imagine not all of them do—par for the course in such films. Think part “Abyss” and part “Alien” and you’ll have the basic idea. The filming takes place under water (duh!) for the entire movie, and the dark setting with few long shots provides a claustrophobic feel to it all. The sound effects were hauntingly effective, but I had a little trouble hearing/understanding some of the dialogue (might just be my hearing loss).

One thing I didn’t get: Why did the crew continuously take off their protective helmets? Maybe they were just concerned about the oxygen supply in their suits, but the on/off, on/off stood out to me as a distraction for some reason. Also, the very last scene in the film was a bit perplexing…did she survive or didn’t she? Seems completely improbable, but if she did, how? And there’s a conspiracy element to the vessel’s demise: Silence demanded of the survivors; no press conferences, and no explanation of the reason(s) for the ‘accident’ on the rig. The filmmakers’ attempt at warning the viewing public, perhaps?

Anyway, this is not a feel-good “Bank of Dave” type film, but it’s something for those who enjoy a little horror with their undersea adventures. And Kristen Stewart displayed some decent acting chops , though they were in the one-dimensional horror adventure style that the film required.

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