Miles below the ocean is a massive drilling station, and before you really even get time to think about what’s going on, disaster strikes and the walls come crashing in. Kristen Stewart has barely enough time to finish brushing her teeth before all hell breaks loose, and director William Eubank begins a claustrophobic base under siege thriller that barely lets you have time to drink your overpriced Ice Blast.
With the foundations collapsing, corpses strewn across the wreckage and half glimpsed creatures in the darkness, things hurtle along at a breakneck pace, as the 5 surviving crew members try to make their way to safety. Now there’s not much plot here to fair; we know they have been drilling down into the depths of the sea, perhaps a little too far, but that’s about as far as get into the why’s and wherefores’ of the story.
The good news is that the film doesn’t really need anything else to work. The crew need to make their way to escape pods in another area of the base, and that means traversing the destroyed base, walking on the ocean bed and trying to survive an attack from the creatures that dwell there.
At around the 20 minute mark, you actually start to feel sorry for the cast, as this must have been a tough shoot. They are constantly submerged in water or crawling through rubble, the suits look uncomfortable, and when they aren’t in the suits they are running around in their underwear. Then of course there are the monsters.We get nothing in the way of explanation, but I get the idea that perhaps the drilling woke them up or disturbed them, but they are quite effective, and the director understands that often less is more, so we don’t see too much of them.
There’s a big reveal in the third act that will make you think of Cloverfield, and as far as other nods go, you will find lots of similarities with Alien, The Descent and Event Horizon. I suppose if you are going to be inspired by anything when making your movie, these are all good sign posts.
All the performances are fine, the atmosphere is very tense and the whole thing is a race to the finish line. I really enjoyed this old fashioned monster movie, and I hope that more people see it. Releasing it the same weekend as Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) may hurt it’s takings though, but i’m hoping some of you will go out and watch this if you can.