FULL SCREAM AHEAD!!!! ....sort of?
Deep Rising is a 1998 action horror film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and stars Treat Williams as John “Finn” (get it?) Finnegan as a merc boat captain taking a crew of...I guess other mercs?...umm ok. They’re a group of heavily armed hijackers boarding a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first. And yes, they’re really slimy, really gross, and really big. The film also stars Famke Janssen as con-artist and thief Trillian St. James, Anthony Heald as the unlikable Simon Canton, and the comic relief of Kevin J. O’Connor as Joey Pantucci. There’s also a bunch of actors you’ll recognize from other films making up the merc crew.
Now, can we just agree right off the bat that this movie is expected to be terrible? The crew and the screenwriters, pretty much everyone involved in this movie did not make it to win any Oscars or to become some gigantic hit film. It was made for one reason and one reason only: fun. And that is exactly what it is. Treat Williams is very entertaining in this film. He’s got one-liners up the ying yang, he’s got some damn good action hero moments, and he’s FUNNY. The rest of the cast, are also just as good, playing their roles well and you could just tell they were not taking this seriously at all, and it really did draw the viewer in, making you laugh at moments or cheer when something bad ass happens or when a character you hated got chomped on by the creature from the depths.
The thing I loved the most (aside from the creature), was the location. I’m a sucker for deep sea monster films (Leviathan is another amazing movie). The ship, stuck in the middle of the ocean, monsters infesting it, pure terror and isolation! I mean, that’s what they were going for. The film itself isn’t that scary. There are moments of tension throughout where you’re guessing when/if the tentacled beast will attack, or who will get chomped on next, but the jump scares just didn’t do it for me.
Now let’s talk about the creature. It’s officially known as the Octalus and it looks like a damned Kraken with tentacles that have mouths of their own. The creature basically grabs on with the tentacles, then slowly “drinks” you, spitting out the bones and anything else it couldn’t digest. A death that is both disturbing and very painful, to say the least. It looked slimy and creepy, the CGI was actually pretty good for its time in some scenes. In others, you could tell 100% it was CGI, which made me actually say “aww man...” It had me, it really did. And then you see a clearly computer-generated tentacle that looked like it belonged in an old TV show on SyFy and it sort of ruined the experience.
All in all, this is a fun creature feature with a great cast of over the top characters and an awesome monster. This movie is pure crazy fun that deserves to be watched with friends and a giant bowl of calamari! I’m kidding...I’ll never look at squid the same way again....
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