Tian Industries has created a drilling facility at the bottom of the Mariana Trench called the Kepler 822. Norah Price is seemingly alone when there is a devastating earthquake and the section where she is has been severely damaged. She meets up with a few of her colleagues that didn’t make it out with the first wave of survivors and they have to make it to a set up unused escape pods. They have to walk about a mile across the ocean floor to the Roebuck 641 drill facility before they can’t escape. On the way, the lift to the ocean floor has a “blockage” that needs moving and they find out that they are not the only ones moving through the dark.
UNDERWATER is directed by William Eubank. He has also directed LOVE and THE SIGNAL. In this, the environment is as important as any of the casting or writing. It is meant to convey doom and claustrophobia with the darkness. It reminds me of ALIEN with a touch of LEVIATHAN. One thing I do like is that the filmmakers are constantly updating the viewer on the location of the group and the depth.
Kristen Stewart as Norah Price
Vincent Cassel as Lucien
T.J. Miller as Paul Abel
Jessica Henwick as Emily Haversham
John Gallagher Jr. as Liam Smith
Mamoudou Athie as Rodrigo Nagenda
The video is a 1080p presentation that has some sharp images onscreen. It opens on a well-lit Kristen Stewart in a locker room. The walls have light corrosion and dirtiness that make the facility look lived in. Details are crisp and easy to make out in on the fabrics and texture of her skin. Hairs are also individualized in these shots. The coloring at the beginning is brighter due to the better lighting in the room. There are also spots of bold color from computer screens and other random happenings. In some of the dark and murky areas of the deep, there is some crushing. There are some contrasting issues from lights against the dark. Skin tones are on the cooler side.
The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1mix that does an amazing job with immersion. The effects of parts of the facility breaking down from the damage can be heard in varying distances from the listening point. Also, the scenes where they’re walking in the deep suits feel very claustrophobic with the small echos of the voices reverberating in the helmets and the water moving around them. The channels are used well and object placement has been done properly.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
1 Blu-ray Disc
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE
UNDERWATER is a sci-fi horror movie that does fall into some of the tropes of movies like it. It is short and to the point but there is some good movie in there. Some of it is predictable but still entertains. The video is decent and the audio works well. This would be on a whole other level in a Dolby Atmos or dts:X mix with the overhead channels. All in all, it is worth checking out.