Will Eubank trades in the cramped, outmoded U.S. Air Force base that played home to extraterrestrial biological entities in his previous film, The Signal, for an underwater research lab imagineered in a style that evokes a crumbling ‘80s health club. There’s nothing alien about this plot: a subterranean tremor does irreparable structural damage to the facility. And no sooner does the ocean rebel against the corporate-financed mission than it’s up to our six surviving occupants to improvise an escape route, unexpectedly lined with Dolby-flexing sea monsters. What once would have been classified a B-movie boasts an A-list performance by Kristen Stewart, surpassed only by cinematographer Bojan Bazelli’s buoyant ascent through a torrent of flickering sludge. Providing the occasional unintentional laughs are T.J. Miller’s growingly annoying variation on a waterlogged Jeff Spicoli and a mumbling, decidedly undecided Jessica Henwick who, not knowing whether to laugh, cry, or shriek, will on occasion do all three. There’s no better feeling than starting the New Year right with an affectionate, action-packed genre picture.
Length: 1 hour, 35 minutes