THE SUPERDEEP – review

           Can I just say that this is the dumbest name for this movie? I feel like somewhere along the line it had a better name but, to dumb it down for world/American audiences it was changed to just…tell you what it’s about. Yes, this is about a hole that is SUPER DEEP but geez, this is so on the nose it hurts.

And that’s a bit of a shame because with so few monster movies out there prowling around this one deserved a better name to draw folks in.

This is a fun little movie that is jussssst a shade too long.

           SUPERDEEP follows a Russian scientist who was involved in an experimental process that killed a colleague as they developed some sort of vaccine. Consumed with guilt the woman retreats to a private life and does her best to move on. When she is called upon to take part in a recovery mission to a base that is several thousand meters below the surface of the earth, she is understandably anxious to be returning to work that caused her so much pain. Oh, if only she understood how bad things were going to get. Things immediately get dodgy when the scientist and the soldiers that are accompanying the mission are told over and over that they all need to leave. Naturally, they don’t. In their investigation though they discover that there are survivors to whatever has happened at this research base, though, the initial one they find seems to be suffering from some sort of infection they can’t quite figure out. As the infection spreads in the survivor though, they begin to appreciate what it was that was discovered deep within the earth and that some things are better left in the deep, dark places to be forgotten.

           I have to say, first off, the monster stuff in this is GREAT when it gets going. Like, I am sorta shocked I didn’t see anything about it because it’s SO GROSS and CREEPY! It’s great. And it was obvious they had certain budgetary limitations and the director WORKED WITHIN THOSE! It’s a MIRACLE! So often filmmakers just say – eh, we’ll make it work – without being part of the solution that makes it work. They just want what they want. Here, they know what they have to work with, and they work within that box. And the monster is creepy.

I do my best not to spoil anything but, you should know…this is a monster movie.

And a gross one at that.

This is a GROSS movie.

Bones crack.

People…uh…transform.

People become…well…yeah…

It’s gross.

Not in an eyeball popping way but in a body horror way that is great.

There’s a LOT to like in the film.

           While this is a foreign production with, foreign actors, this is in English, though it was re-dubbed it seems. I am not sure I this was due to the actors not ‘sounding’ English enough or maybe just because the live audio was woggy. I dunno. It works and it doesn’t distract too much, but it does give a weird feel to the whole film. Not a dealbreaker in any way but, it’s weird.

The acting in the film is overall pretty good. It can be a bit over the top, but it works for the film and doesn’t hinder things.

The big knock on the film is that it’s just…LONG! And I like long movies. This FEELS long though, the sin you don’t want to make. The film has a strange pace, and it gets caught look at itself in the mirror too long, which is to say that it’s IN LOVE with how long it is and how patient it is. There are huge sections of the film that could be trimmed down, the biggest ones coming in the final act. They do a good job of slowly revealing what is going on down below and don’t rush to show the final iteration of what’s going on but there is so much arguing and a long scene of slow-mo shots, and it just FEELS long. Even at just under two hours it feels even longer. That the finale takes nearly ten minutes is a huge sin because at that point you have said what you needed to say and could have ended it but decided to slooooooooowly end things.

Oof.

One other knock I have on the film is the apparent need to get the lead, and only actress, into her underwear for the last twenty-some minutes of the movie. They play if off like its plot driven but it feels unnecessary and sleazy. After the initial reason for her to strip off they could have gotten her SOMETHING to wear, but no, she has to go through the rest of the film in a low-cut tank top and panties. I am sure it checked a box for someone, somewhere but it feels sleazy and like they took advantage of the actress here.

           Despite the knocks on it, SUPERDEEP is a creepy movie. It won’t be for everyone, sure, but it’s got a great idea, a great creature, and the movie looks good. There’s a phantom of THE THING that hangs around the film and it works without feeling like it’s aping anything else. While it didn’t seem to get a lot of attention, this is definitely worth a look if you are in the need of something gooey and monster-y.

Give it a look.

3.5 out of 5

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