My favorite film genre is Overconfident Human Tries to Kill Nature, as seen in such action-suspense classics as this summer’s Crawl and 2018’s The Meg. (See also: Jaws, Jurassic Park, the one where Blake Lively wears statement earrings to outswim a shark, etc.) OHTKN movies follow a formula I know well: Aggrieved hot person joins mission for which they are uniquely qualified, hot person notices something amiss, hot person watches several less-hot colleagues be killed by mystery monster, hot person triumphs over mystery monster — temporarily, until the sequel. I know when the monster’s about to come onscreen, and I scream anyway, every time.
I also like these movies because I know that I will never, ever find myself in the situation the protagonists are in, and perhaps never has that discrepancy been so clear as in the trailer for next winter’s Underwater, released today. Underwater is about a team of underwater researchers whose subterranean laboratory is wrecked by “an earthquake,” per Wikipedia, though obviously it’s more than that. One senses trouble from the moment we hear an off-screen narrator tell a group of people (including Kristen Stewart!!!) who are journeying to the bottom of the ocean, “See you all in a month!”
Haha, no. No, I don’t think so. I don’t care how noble the mission is, I would never — well, there is Kristen Stewart, with a shaved head and glasses, brushing her teeth in a sports bra and sweatpants, just as the great big whatever-it-is hits the ship for the first time.
What if I were the woman working the marine communication system at the base, and we fell in love with each other’s voices, and Kristen’s survival depended on my ability to calmly talk her through assembling the bomb she has to put in the shark’s stomach … ? Is it too late for notes? Underwater will be out in January 2020.