Into the Deep is one of those films that offers so much promise with its setup that it is a bit frustrating when you watch the final product and it has managed to fall short in every way imaginable. When I first read the synopsis, I couldn’t help but think about the 1989 film Dead Calm. It’s one of those underrated psychological thrillers that I always felt was fun. While Into the Deep does share some parallels, unfortunately this film just goes off the rails because of its absurd plot twists and, well, let’s face it; no one in this cast is on par with Sam Neill, Billy Zane, or Nicole Kidman. Into the Deep is a film that pretty much hopes that its audience isn’t thinking about logic, because the moment you apply any sort of critical thinking, this film just falls apart. Jess (Ella-Rae Smith) is still struggling with the loss of her mother as the anniversary of her death is approaching. As a distraction she allows herself to get swept off her feet in a romance with Ben (Matthew Daddario), who whisks her away on a romantic evening on his boat. Everything seems great until she wakes up the next morning and they are in the middle of the ocean. Honestly, this is the first of many red flags that come up with this charming suitor that Jess seems to happily ignore. This should have been played up more to give this film a tone of dread, but it seems the filmmakers were dead set on just making Ben seems like a quirky romantic, when the audience just isn’t going to fall for it. This is one of my biggest criticisms of the film: that it doesn’t trust the audience has seen through Ben’s motives. Seriousl,y when the film finally decides to let Ben be the bad guy, so much time has passed that every opportunity the film could have had to have fun with this dynamic is ruined.
A twist is introduced with Jess and Ben finding a lone jet skier passed out in the middle of nowhere. Lexie (Jessica Alexander) as it turns out isn’t what she seems and has pulled off her ruse to confront Ben and get him to reveal what he did to her, though she herself doesn’t remember what he did to her. This gets so absurd. I mean, how did she even know how to find him in the middle of nowhere if she barely remembers what may or may not of happened when she was on his boat. Seriously, this movie creates so many plot holes it is treading water for its last half and just continues to make it difficult to care, much less continue watching.
What saves this film is that it at least has a beautiful setting, though the film doesn’t take advantage of it enough. The makeup applied for the injuries looks fairly amateur to the point it really just looks like fake blood was just smeared on just seconds before they started filming. This film pretty much fails in so many ways because it tried to be so clever, when in the end it should have kept things simple and not gone over the deep end of absurdity.
This is one of those films I’ll happily forget and never revisit again. This is one of those films that will bring out the armchair director or writer in anyone and have them spouting how they’d do things differently and most likely better. While the director seems to know what they are doing on a technical level, when it comes to story, this thing is messier than a Jackson Pollock painting.