When one thinks about underwater horror theme movies, many have the continuing nightmare of sharks, and it occurs far too much, the fear of the beasts appears more like those in Finding Dory than real life, aside from the suspense of The Shallows (2016). However, when an independent movie takes on the subject of a creature feature giving birth on the sea floor and living on land becomes slightly more interesting. Stewart Sparke, in his first directorial feature for a horror presents the rarity, in the subgenre with tale for an entertaining on a mundane night in the middle of the week, or on a lazy afternoon. This movie definitely shows its hand early with references to the work of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, but everything stays on an even keel with Paul Butler’s script, finding distribution from Breaking Glass Pictures. One needs to note, it’s not Sparke’s first time into land of horror or working with Butler, as they teamed before for extremely short films of Frostbite: Proof of Concept Film (2012) and Rats (2013), all proving his capabilities of deliver a final product, a reoccurring method in today’s production market.
On an underwater expedition 2,500 feet down at sea, Dr. Olive Crown (Anna Dawson), a marine biologist specializing in oceanic trenches and highly qualified diver, using a one-of-a-kind diving suit encounters and dreadful situation accident. She finds herself in peril, when attacked by an unidentifiable creature and notable special effects work well for the reflection of the budget. The creature uses tube like tentacles to try to capture and feed upon Olive but after an agonizing battle she escapes the clutches of the beast, unbeknownst at the time, brings something from down there back hiding in the dive gear. Once aboard the research vessel, she’s abruptly fired by a rude and condescending Dr. Fletcher (Zacharee Lee) when she’s unable to defend the actions that destroyed the suit, this doesn’t fit a normal course of logic, but one’s to move the story along. However, Olive discovers a strange gelatinous egg (similar to those in underwater horror comedy Grabbers (2012) she smuggles it home. From here the second act starts, she puts up a lab in the basement, in a home shares with her boyfriend Matt (Daniel Thrace) and visiting sister (a deep seed enemy) Ellie (Michaela Longden), though their characters not nearly fleshed out as Olive. She starts the investigation, analyzing the egg; after it hatches the fun starts what does it like to eat, and series of trial and error starts, until the scent of blood awakens the taste buds. Strangely Olive develops her own motherly instincts of love, trust and willingness to defend, especial when the leech Dr. Fletcher returns seeking the egg, but happens to him, very easily foreshadowed in the film. Matthew and Ellie start to worry about of unhealthy attraction to this creature, she locks them off physically and mentally and begins a psychotic episode for great portions which lurches the film into the final act.
The effects contain and solid foundation, and work very well in the story always strain and worry for an independent movie, but Sparke’s crew pulls it off wonderfully, however the acting for the most part works very well, especially with Anna carrying over 85% of the film, and while the rest of the cast fills in nicely. Nevertheless, a few stiff and illogical sequences occur, but that really becomes nitpicking, though the movie suffers with it at a minimum and stretches more scenes than necessary. As a rule, always tell the story in the straightest method possible, while the runtime always important don’t overstay the welcome and enjoy the moment. The poster art looks similar to Creature Lake (2015), but it doesn’t mean anything problematic, many times in horror films, trends start, the Scream and Final Destination franchises would show the principle cast members forming an inverted ‘V’ formation, this began a copying for many other productions both horror and not such as the action movies Expendables (2010).
The fans of the Cthulhu creature stories will discover some interest, and embrace the ambitious undertaking for aspiring filmmakers, while likely never finding itself on a favorite lists, and does provide some relief from the Hollywood machine of remake hell with this VOD and DVD feature.
This review was originally published on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website in April 2017 with a view count of 1,644.
IMDb Rating: 3.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10