Deep Blue Sea (1999)

‘Deep Blue Sea’. A simple plot? Doctors made sharks clever and now they are clever enough to break out of their enclosures and eat the people that kept them in there for so long. Basically that’s the plot. A good plot? I actually think it’s quite an intriguing one; yeah a character was clearly very stupid and basically set a human-eating monster on them all, but it’s not a bad plot for a horror film. Sharks are scary, and these particular three are on a mission, a mission to kill every single person who played a part in capturing them.

So “welcome to Aquatica”, a floating area in the middle of the sea, where a group of people work experimenting on sharks in order to find the cure for Alzheimer’s. But they’re testing on sharks… Which I have to admit is a bit of animal cruelty. But instead of hurting the sharks, they are unintentionally making them smarter by extending their brains. So in the middle of the sea, when one thing goes wrong, everything does, and a group of eight people are trapped, unable to go into the water due to the sharks, however they’re sinking. So pretty tragic and very dramatic. To say the least, this group of eight is quickly minimalised and continues to throughout the film.

deep-blue-sea-shark

The characters in this film are not actually developed sophisticatedly for the audience. I feel this lets down the film a bit, as it definitely takes away from the horror of the film. If the audience isn’t attached to the characters they are not emotionally devoted to what happens to them, so we don’t feel tension towards the character’s lives. The film more just gives the essence that they’re all going to die anyway and the sharks are going to win… However, saying this, there has to be at least two characters that the audience do feel a bit more attached to, again I wouldn’t say that much, but it’s something. These characters are Carter (Thomas Jane) and Preacher (LL Cool J), and if I’m stretching it, maybe Dr Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows). Carter seems to be the main protagonist of the film, there is definitely more focus on him and his heroic and sacrificial decisions. Preacher, probably my favourite character, was cleverly done for the audience to appreciate. This is due to the fact that he was on his own instead of in the group when everything starts going downhill; the fact that he was on his own makes him vulnerable and the audience feels more sympathetic towards him. Susan was an interesting character, even though the basis of why the sharks were clever was her fault, she had depth to her character for her obsession and desperation to want to get the cure for Alzheimer’s, but throughout this it puts everyone else in danger.

Please remember that this is a film of 1999 and you can definitely tell. The deaths are very fake to say the least. Although, one thing I couldn’t get my head around was the sharks. Ok, so there were many times the sharks were 100% fake and couldn’t look more so, but then at slower parts of the movie (which to be honest there weren’t many anyway), the sharks looked quite real, so it was a good blend for the film as it was made in 1999. There were many uses of underwater shots from the vision of the sharks. I know this is effective in many films, for example, the new film ‘The Shallows’ or even the classic ‘Jaws’; but I feel it wasn’t as successful in this film as it was in the others. I can’t exactly pinpoint why this was; the film just wasn’t able to build the tension these two others film did. This ultimately meant that it just wasn’t that scary for the audience. It was more just of a waiting game of who was the next meal for the sharks.

deep-blue-sea-carter

Would I recommend this film? I’m not sure. To say the least there are some better shark films out there. But hey, it wasn’t awful. It does the action well, and the film is extremely dramatic. For example, the audience is thrown straight into the film with a shark right away, smashing through a boat… There’s no hiding what the film is about and there are many theatrical moments. Also, the plot is very different to many I’ve seen before. So if you enjoy the shark films, then I would recommend. If not, perhaps give this film a miss.

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