Underwater (2020)

William Eubank directs Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel and Jessica Henwick in this sci-fi disaster movie where a deep sea drilling rig is breached and the few survivors have to race to safety against falling oxygen levels, shifts in pressure and mysterious killer beasties.

As Alien rip-offs go this is slavishly faithful. The credits and the production design and the score and the graphic read-outs and the one size fits all casting and the set-pieces could all be assembled from forgotten drafts and unapproved sketches and discarded storyboards and ignored studio notes from Ripley’s off world adventures. Now there’ll be some who will find rehashing a film from 40 years ago with very few new aspects added the height of foolishness. But for some of us, we never got quite enough pure Alien… not even enough well budgeted “Alien… But Underwater!” mash-ups. I’m in the minority but I’d go see a new one of these every month. Why reinvent the wheel? The monsters are Lovecraftian terrors, the opening act is a take no prisoners rush and if you read this blog then you know of my massive soft spots for both Cassell and Stewart. TJ Miller does guff a section out as a very poor man’s Ryan Reynolds but the loudmouth sore thumb is credited as “… AND TJ MILLER” so you know he isn’t going to be a permanent handicap to the action. Sometimes you just want to watch a thing run its rail.

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