Movie Review: Underwater (2020)

May 18, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:



From the first moment that I saw the trailer for director William Eubank’s aquatic horror Underwater I’ve been eagerly awaiting to sink my teeth into it. Now that I have seen it, I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

The first thing I need to say is that like many movies released over the past few years, the trailer reveals way too much. This has become a serious problem. There has to be a better way to tease a film than spoiling 80% of its story.

The movie opens with Kristen Stewart brushing her teeth in her underwear, just minutes before the movie’s action kicks off. That is one thing I can say for this movie, it’s action-packed from beginning to end. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of scares. And surprisingly, not all of them are jump scares, there’s plenty of well-built and cultivated terror. The setting, seven miles down and five thousand miles from any land, really adds to the sense of dread. The thought of being that alone and far from any help is scary itself.

The crew, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, find themselves trapped and desperate to find a way to the surface. When they realize that they are not alone things quickly go from bad to worse.

While I’m not a huge fan of Kristen Stewart, I will say she killed it in Underwater.  But this is the type of role she was meant to play, tough and badass.  However, every other character was a bit stereotypical. You had your funny guy (T.J. Miller), the good guy (Mamoudou Athie), the stoic Captain (Vincent Cassel), the average Joe in love (John Gallagher Jr.), and the weak woman everyone wants to help (Jessica Henwick). No surprise there.

What was a surprise were the creatures. They are nasty with a capital N. While they looked vaguely familiar, they did look fantastic. Bravo to the special effects team. The monsters, the sets, the CGI, and the practical effects were all impressive.  The crew should get a hefty bonus, the effects made this film. But don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way bashing the story. The story itself was clever and fresh. I admit I was surprised by the ending, which is unusual these days. To end it the way it was ended was a great choice.

I guess you can say Underwater made a splash (too cheesy?) with this reviewer.  I’m giving it a four. It’s a great watch. Go pop some popcorn, settle in and watch Underwater now on VOD or Digital.




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