Sci-Fi Underwater (2020)


An Old Friend
Title: Underwater

Tagline: 7 miles below the ocean surface something has awakened

Genre: Action, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

Director: William Eubank

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Mamoudou Athie, T. J. Miller, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick, Gunner Wright, Fiona Rene, Amanda Troop

Release: 2020-01-08

Runtime: 95

Plot: After an earthquake destroys their underwater station, six researchers must navigate two miles along the dangerous, unknown depths of the ocean floor to make it to safety in a race against time.



An Old Friend
Underwater (2020)
PG-13 | 1h 35min | Action, Drama, Horror | 10 January 2020 (USA)

View attachment 16599
A crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep sea drilling company try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deepwater research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

An unknown, massive earthquake happens in a drilling station in the bottom of the Mariana Trench. A scientific crew find their way into another station under a dark water, a dangerous of humanoid creatures, and a lack of oxygen.



An Old Friend
I watch a whole lot of movies. I tend to be critical of writers making sense to reality.
Like in Alien Covenant where the crew abandons their mission and puts everyone in danger, it just wouldn't happen.
Well, there's a lot of 'writer mistakes' mistakes in this. Not only in sound situational thinking, in the premise of the location.
Therefore, my review is going to be kinda jaded to making sense both in the story and the actual implied sets/situations.
I will try to use a spoiler tag but be forewarned, I may miss some.

On the surface it looks like a pretty good popcorn flick and if you can suspend all logic, you can have fun watching it. It has all the audience elements.
However, if you have a practical mind that understands physics and situational reasoning (typical for those who follow and enjoy science fiction) the film is full of things which make you want to grab the writers by the neck and squeeze smartly.

So, the film is set in the bottom of the Mariana's Trench. In the opening scenes it specifically indicates the environment of "Immense Pressure of 8 Tons Per Square Inch". Remember that detail.
Granted, the film can't be shot at the Mariana's Trench at 8 tons psi. so some leeway should be granted for the sake of the story. The same leeway needed for Leviathan, Deep Star Six, the Abyss and other deep sea films. However, while Leviathan and Deep Star Six embrace the pressure, The Abyss and Underwater destroy the significance and threat of the pressure.

Levaithan and Deep Star used high pressure suits and habitats you would expect to see in a deep water scenario.

Deep Star Six

But... Underwater takes place at the bottom of the Mariana's Trench, deeper and more pressure than the location in the other two movies yet they wear a suit they can walk and climb in with relative ease.


8 TONS PSI is significant.

Remember in Leviathan Six-pack said "One little hole in the toe of his suit crammed his whole body up into his helmet"?
8 tons psi changes the threat level.
Its reasonable the writer would account for that extreme threat level.
Its reasonable the director would account for that extreme threat level.
You get a hole in your suit or a hole in your habitat you are dead before you know what happened.
Then there is the whole hydraulic physics reality. Simply put, air compresses/liquids do not.
If you are at the deepest part of the ocean with 8 tons psi of water pressing on all surfaces, if you habitat ruptures the water is going to compress the air into a bubble with a pressure of 8 tons psi.
Last I knew, the human body does not support 8 tons psi so water or air at 8 tons psi is going to crush you immediately.
So there wouldn't be air pockets to crawl around in, even if there were, you could never survive them.

So, within the first 10 minutes of the film, I knew the writing and filmaking standards were sub-par. It kinda ruined my expectations for this film and I had problems not focusing on the mistakes.
By my 5th watch (because it has monsters and I really, really like monsters) I was finally able to watch it like the mindless popcorn movie it is.


An Old Friend
So, I'm watching it again now, pausing it as I type stuff.
Okay, so to start off, you see a limited view of the interior of this deepest water habitat.
Long hallways, big bathroom, lots of sinks, a house spider, drywall, drop ceiling and so on.
It never really says which year the film is set in but it better be 2120 or later.

At 7 miles below the surface, construction will not resemble a hotel. Structurally, open spaces at that depth at those pressures would require some very serious support.
Have a look at Cameron's Deep Sea Challenger

Open spaces are very limited.
The engineering technology and methodology would be impossible to build such huge elaborate structure on the floor in the deepest part of the ocean, even in the near future.
Then there is the shear magnitude of normal everyday objects populating the sets.
You might suggest the structures were built and fitted on the surface then sunk to the bottom but how are you gunna do that with so many empty spaces filled with air pockets?
We are expected this was done not once but at least three times? Plus connections between them?
Plus, before you say they just filled them with water, sunk them and then pumped the water out, think of the drywall, the electronics and stuff. Couldn't happen...ever.
Not without alien influence.

So, the tranquil teeth brushing doesn't make sense to rationality.

Then suddenly, lets put a bit of disaster and survival threat into the opening to get people excited. Maybe they will forget just how absurd everything has been so far.

She hears a leak.
She catches a drip with her hand.
Then all hell breaks loose.
Looks impressive if you don't know anything about pressure.

Not to go into a lot of detail, she runs down the hallway as the ocean burst into it.
She has time to travel quite a distance.
You see a long distance shot of people running towards them and the water crushing the hallway and they have time to close the doors just before the water gets to them.
However, at 8 tons psi, the air would be displaced, the water would crush the habitat like a car running over an empty can.
No time to look for a key card...and why would a key card be needed in such a dangerous habitat in the first place? Its not like strangers are roaming the halls. Everyone would have been trained on all the systems and nothing would have locks or access restrictions, especially anything related to such a vital safety system as a pressure door control.

Granted, in any other setting the disaster and survival scenes would be good but not at the bottom of the Mariana's Trench!

So a few handfuls of popcorn washes away the writer's incompetence, for now.


An Old Friend
I watched this another 2 more times since I started this thread.
I decided its not worth the typing.
I hear the monster is like Cthulhu (spoiler?)
Err...I guess if you kinda tilt yer head and squint.
Cthulhu is usually depicted as having man-like arms and legs.
A review video by someone obviously favorable to this film talks about the creatures towards the end.
This guy uses Lovecraft to justify his assertion it is a Cthulhu yet shows no screen captures to prove it. The fact it had tentacles on its head doesn't make it so.

This video calls it a Kraken type creature.
She considers both views. She makes some argument based on the insanity related to Cthulhu not being depicted in the plot.
Personally, I find it inconsequential because you don't really get a very good look at it.
You don't get a really good look at anything in the water.

I decided to download the film so I can take a screenshot of the monsters, because I do really like monsters.
When I get some screenshots posted to a host, I'll post them here in spoilers and we can discuss this with actual reference material at hand.


An Old Friend
Okay, I took 125 captures of the creature. Might take me a bit to find the pics which offer the cleanest view. If I advance the pics manually it looks like a video of the monster only and has decent resolution but each frame is slightly blurry by itself.
I'll try to use the best four pics so let me see what I can do and then I have to upload them to pinterest so I can post them so Kevin doesn't have to host them.
A bit more time....


An Old Friend
Okay, pinterest will not accept them.
They are kinda dark & fuzzy...

As far as I know Cthulhu does not have rows of teeth in its face. This lower toothy jaw splits open like Predator & the creatures in Blade 2 (reapers).


This one kinda looks like a Cthulhu if you saw the video. Off to the side there is a limb which could be a wing or another larger tentacle. Those teeth are definately not Cthulu tho.


Here's a better shot of the head from a side view. See the teeth? See how the head is shaped?
See how the eye radius looks indented?


Again, the teeth and a straight on view of the nose and eye. In the video the eye blinks.
See the cheekbone? Split lower jaw..?


This view shows face tentacles, shoulders, an abdomen, and what looks like two arms that are actually tentacles. Looks and moves like a man in a suit.

All the shots and sequences are fast with short duration in the film. Its dark against dark with high action bright scenes before and after of the crew in the station or suit.
Cthulhu, no... Kraken, no...
The images themselves really don't spoil the movie unless the creature itself spoils the film for you. The images don't show what the creature does just that it exists and you need to be under a rock to not know there is a creature in it. Hell, the thread title even states "Creature Feature".

But, I'm open for discussion. I have the video so we now have references to check.


Staff member
Absolutely terrible movie, with Vanilla doing the same facial expressions she does in every movie she is in.


Code Monkey
Staff member
I don't recall seeing trailers for this one so I don't know if it was actually released in theaters in 2020 during the pandemic or if it ended up going straight to streaming. I caught it on streaming randomly. The general premise of the movie is that it takes place in a deep sea mining operation along the Mariana Trench. After a series of what are are assumed to be earthquakes the survivors fight to survive while trying to escape both the imminent destruction of the facility and strange creatures that seem to be pursuing them.

Starring Kristen Stewart, Underwater is not a bad movie, and there are a few moments of suspense, it just felt a bit underwhelming. Without revealing the ending I'll just say that it could be summarized as a kaiju origins movie and that's the problem. With movies like Cloverfield, Pacific Rim, and of course the Godzilla verse and its spinoffs, Underwater by comparison doesn't stand out in the crowd. For fans of the recent Godzilla movies, you may notice that Underwater uses a similar technique of using the opening and closing credits to add to the story line through the use of newspaper clippings and other documents shown in a montage.



An Old Friend
I watched it again along with a few other Cthulhu movies.
Still don't like the movie but the Cthulhu is one of the best graphic examples I've seen.
Too bad the film didn't show a better view.

Everything else still irritates me. Especially the physics depicted and the scale of the facility at such depth. (any 'moon pool' in an underwater facility requires equal air pressure to keep the water from coming in. At the bottom of the Mariana Trench, that equalizing pressure would have to be far beyond what a human body could withstand. Any place where water could get in would be a pressure breach which would crush an unprotected human body)


Code Monkey
Staff member
{threads merged, didn't realize Tom already had one going...}

In regards to Cthulhu, was there actually any tie-in to Lovecraft's stuff in the movie or was it just fans assuming it?


Staff member
{threads merged, didn't realize Tom already had one going...}

In regards to Cthulhu, was there actually any tie-in to Lovecraft's stuff in the movie or was it just fans assuming it?
I don't recall it being either explicit or implicit and am surprised they didn't try to tie it in with Cloverfield.


An Old Friend
{threads merged, didn't realize Tom already had one going...}

In regards to Cthulhu, was there actually any tie-in to Lovecraft's stuff in the movie or was it just fans assuming it?
I did a search










Underwater follows a group of workers on a drilling facility at the bottom of the ocean who encounter hostile creatures after an earthquake destroys the facility. The film is loosely based on the Cthulhu Mythos, as it features Cthulhu and the Deep Ones as the antagonists.
She fires a second flare into the distance and sees the creatures are spawn of an ancient titanic creature, Cthulhu.
After shooting the film, the director decided to design the alpha creature based on H. P. Lovecraft's mythos,[12] as it features Cthulhu as the monster.[13]


Staff member
Problem is Tom no one involved in the movie claimed links to Cthulhu mythos, could also argue its a prequel to either Cloverfield or Pacific Rim. Wikipedia entry smacks of the sort of people who argue endlessly about what is cannon in the Alien franchise etc.


This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
I saw 'Call of Cthulhu'. modern movie made to look old. really well done and interesting.
I don't think anyone's done a real iconic Cthulhu movie.
(he also appeared in an episode of South Park)


An Old Friend
Problem is Tom no one involved in the movie claimed links to Cthulhu mythos
"After shooting the film, the director decided to design the alpha creature based on H. P. Lovecraft's mythos,[12] as it features Cthulhu as the monster.[13]"

My own opinion: it is NOT a Cthulhu and the small creatures are NOT Lovecraft's Deep Ones.
I've studied the creatures and how they act.
Kiaju, perhaps? Mermen, certainly.
Nothing in the movie, as far as I'm concerned is Lovecraft.

Perhaps the public association stems from the fact there are so few Cthulhu movies out there and most of those are crapfest garbage?

We are 'ripe' for a high budget, all-star cast Cthulhu movie or set of movies.
Hey Hollywhack! You listenin'?