Underwater (2020)

SPOILERS FOR A MOVIE STILL IN THEATERS

I TALK ABOUT THE ENDING BUT AFTER SEVERAL LARGE WARNINGS

My first review of a movie that released in 2020! Expect more as time goes on!

Anyway, I’m not a fan of the Twilight series (the ending of Breaking Dawn Part 2 still makes me mad). I didn’t think Snow White and the Huntsman or Panic Room were very good. But I love Ms. Kristen Stewart as a person, so I was hoping this was a movie I’d enjoy. Turns out, it was! It’s no highbrow, Criterion quality film (I’ll get to you one day, Personal Shopper), but sometimes you just want to watch a fun and tense movie.

Stewart plays Norah (wait, that’s how you spell that?), an engineer working at an underwater drilling station in the Mariana Trench. Have you seen the trailers? You know that part where she finds water dripping, and then all hell breaks loose? Well that’s the opening shot, so we start this movie running. Turns out Norah knows just about all the people who didn’t die in the initial incident, and together they have to find a way to get out of this situation alive.

I kept thinking while I was watching this that Underwater is a mix of Alien and The Descent, two horror movies I adore. A little more The Descent in that our band of survivors are traveling through tight and often submerged passageways. Norah spends a good amount of time in her underwear, and while there’s a panty shot or two early on, it’s not super sexualized and I feel like it was more to remind you of Ripley running around in her underwear at the end of Alien. And normally I’d ding points for reminding me of a better movie, but I’ll allow it since it’s more the aesthetic than a direct reference.

But what I really want to talk about is the ending…

HI THERE NOW HERE’S THE PART WHERE I SAY THAT SPOILERS ARE BELOW

...

NO, REALLY, I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ENDING OF THE MOVIE AND THAT MEANS HUGE SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE

Holy fucking shit, queer icon Kristen Stewart NUKED CTHULHU?! I know, I know, I know, that’s not actually Cthulhu, because everyone knows sunken R’lyeh is in the south Pacific Ocean, while this movie takes place in the Mariana Trench which is in the west, but hot damn, that’s Cthulhu and those humanoid creatures are deep ones. And the squids are, I don’t know, minions of Idh-yaa.

My dudes, I am PSYCHED! I was confused when the second, non-squidly guys started showing up. “Why do they look like humans? Why do they have eyes? Wait, they have five fingers? Are they the dead crew converted by the squid monsters?” That last one is not 100% discounted, but once I saw the Great Old One the drill had unearthed, I just accepted it all with a grin.


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