Deep Rising (1998) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Stephen Sommers
Producers: John Baldecchi, Mario Iscovich, et. al.
Writers: Stephen Sommers
Date Released: January 30, 1998
Treat Williams as John Finnegan
Famke Janssen as Trillian St. James
Kevin J. O’Connor as Joey “Tooch” Pantucci
Anthony Heald as Simon Canton
Wes Studi as Hanover
Derrick O’Connor as Captain H.W. Atherton
Jason Flemyng as Mulligan
Cliff Curtis as Mamooli
Clifton Powell as Mason
Una Damon as Leila
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Captain John Finnegan (Treat Williams) and his crew, Joey Pantucci (Kevin J. O’Connor) and Leila (Una Damon), were hired by a group of men to pilot a boat and travel across the South China Sea for undisclosed reasons. When their boat encounters the a cruise ship, Argonautica, Finnegan quickly finds out that their passengers are armed and intend to hijack, rob and sink the cruise ship. However, after boarding the ship, the hijackers discover that the passengers have mysteriously disappeared. However, what they do not realize is that they aren’t the only ones on the ship.
Despite the B-movie-like premise, Deep Rising (1998) nailed both special and graphic effects. The dead bodies, both fresh and eaten, look horrifying and a little too real. It turns out that special effects designer, Rob Bottin, had worked on the effects in this film. Bottin had previously worked on special effects in cult films such as The Thing and RoboCop to name a few films. So, if you’re into B-movie gore, prepare to have fun and be impressed. However, if you’re sensitive to the sight of someone vomiting, consider yourself warned.
The Grave Review
If you enjoyed the suffocating feeling from Alien (1979), the reimagining of the Titanic (1997), and the exciting action in Hard Rain (1998), then there is a good possibility that you will like Deep Rising (1998). The film on its face may seem like a mash up of other related films with similar premises, but at the minimum, Deep Rising does offer an entertaining film. Although the movie was not successful during its release week, more and more horror fans are beginning to see why Deep Rising (1998) is an underrated gem. Here’s why:
First, Director Stephen Sommers knows how to build tension. Halfway through the movie, the killer creature is nowhere to be found. However, the viewers hear the creature’s aggressive moments and see the gruesome end of its victims. Just as you experienced in the film, Alien, Sommers creates a situation where the viewer knows something big is lurking around but you never quite see it until the end.
Second, all the characters in this film have a significant role in some way. The film did a great job at developing the characters’ personalities, even for those who have a short screen time. As stated before, all of the characters contribute something to the story, which is refreshing to see in a movie, even if the premise is somewhat ridiculous. This methodology was really effective as the character development enhanced the story as a whole.
Third, the movie is silly. However, Deep Rising is aware of its ridiculousness and embraces its oddities. The result is a fun, “light-hearted” (in the unconventional sense) popcorn flick that anyone can enjoy. If you also enjoy gore and fun monster designs, then there’s even more of an excuse to watch this film.
Should you see Deep Rising (1998)? The movie is worth at least one full viewing, and you should definitely give it a shot. After that, we make no promises.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Deep Rising (1998) three graves out of five graves.
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