What do you get when you mix equal parts Jurassic Park, Alien, Jaws and Predator together, throw in a dash of bad dialogue, and have a fairly decent action director (Renny Harlin) bring it all to life? Deep Blue Sea, of course. This film has one of the worst plots since Jaws III (3-D) and the cheesiest dialogue since The Haunting. Still, this film has one big advantage over those other two piles of crap . . . the terror actually works. Sea manages to scare the hell out of you, even while you're laughing at the horrible script and generic lines.
The film also has something else going for it, that any true horror fan will genuinely appreciate: you can't predict who is going to live, and who is going to die. Right from the start, Harlin breaks all of the rules in the victim department, and when you realize this, the movie becomes far more unsettling than it probably deserves to be. It's been a long time since I've felt my heart race like this in a horror film. It's noisy, it's startling, it makes no excuses, it offers no apologies, and the damn thing is unrelenting in a way that no other mainstream monster movie has ever been. It's definitely the first film that I've praised for giving me a horrible tension headache.
Harlin definitely knows how to make things tense with his "never back down" directing style. My palms began sweating early on, and didn't really stop until the last 10 or 15 minutes of the film, when things just got a little too cheesy, and I wanted to groan rather than scream. The horrible dialogue spewed out in a frantic race to tie up loose plot threads (which are so simplistic, you've probably read messages in fortune cookies that have more creative thought behind them) before the "terrifying" finale moved beyond the cute sort of "how dumb" realm and into the "how fucking stupid can you get?!?" world of eye rolling and head scratching.
I'd give it 8 Juicy squirts out of a possible 10
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Copyright 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]