With so many movies centered around the terrors of the deep, there is a lot of content out there to thrill and chill the thalassophobia person in your life. If you’re looking for something outside of the usual Jaws, The Meg, or Open Water, check out 2020’s Kristen Stewart-led film Underwater. Now available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, the thriller will make the perfect addition to your creatures of the deep horror night.
In Underwater, a group of workers drilling deep below the ocean’s surface encounters a dire situation when water breaks through the walls of their workstation, killing many. Gathering what survivors he can, the captain realizes that he’ll need to lead the crew across the ocean floor to make it to the broken-off part of the drilling station should they have any hopes of survival.
Those who enjoyed Underwater pointed to its parallels to literature by famed novelist H.P. Lovecraft.
But, they’re not alone in the watery depths as the group will soon find that strange and unknown creatures are also inhabiting this area who are less than pleased to see humans in their territory.
Directed by William Eubank (Love, The Signal), Twilight franchise star Kristen Stewart is joined in Underwater by the likes of John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Jessica Henwick (The Matrix Resurrections), Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World Dominion), Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s Thirteen), and T.J. Miller (Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Receiving plenty of mixed reviews from critics and fans of horror sci-fi flicks that take place in the sprawling and mysterious ocean, Underwater didn’t quite hit the box office numbers it was hoping for. With a whopping production cost of $50-80 million, the film only managed to wrangle $40.9 million at the global box office – marking it as a major failure in terms of financials.
Those who did enjoy Underwater pointed to its parallels to literature by famed novelist, H.P. Lovecraft. The brain behind the creature known as Cthulhu, Lovecraft’s themes and ideas have long served as an inspiration to those in the sci-fi community and was certainly the case for Underwater scribes Brian Duffield and Adam Cozad.
For their work behind the production, the VFX team was nominated at the Visual Effects Society Awards for Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature.
Not stepping out of any comfort zone for either of the writers, Duffield is also known for his work behind films including Love and Monsters, while Cozad has been attached to action films such as Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Lovecraft’s works were far from the only bit of inspiration pulled from the writers and director of Underwater as several moments throughout the film point to the classic Ridley Scott-helmed sci-fi flick, Alien. From the opening shot, which silently pans around the drilling station, many of Eubanks’ visuals can be compared to the Sigourney Weaver-led 1979 classic.
Finally, Eubanks and his creative team also made several nods to the book, Through the Looking-Glass, the basis for the film versions of Alice in Wonderland. From songs to a Cheshire cat tattoo, and even a Queen of Hearts playing card, a multitude of references to the classic topsy-turvy story can be spotted throughout Underwater.
Along with the pressure of learning their lines and sticking their scenes, Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, and the rest of the cast had to wear airtight suits for those taxing underwater scenes.
Another thing that fans and critics agreed on was the terrific special effects that went into the making of Underwater. For their work behind the production, the VFX team was nominated at the Visual Effects Society Awards for Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature. From the sea monsters to shots of the doomed crew’s underwater excursion, the folks behind the special effects had their hands full.
Following in James Cameron’s footsteps, filmmaker Wiliam Eubank knew that he wanted Underwater to be as real as possible, mixing filming between an on-ground set and a controlled water environment.
Along with the pressure of learning their lines and sticking their scenes, Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, and the rest of the cast had to wear airtight suits for those taxing underwater scenes. Each of the suits clocked in at around 140 pounds, making it not only a physically draining job but also a mental one as they had a tough time hearing Eubanks’ directions.
With so many Easter eggs to catch throughout Underwater, the film is a must-see for any sci-fi nut who has been drawn to other classic pieces from the genre and has a soft spot in their heart for Lovecraftian monsters. Currently available for rental or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, the sea monster film is the perfect one to check out over the weekend or at your next sci-fi horror night.