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What it lacks in character and plot depth, “Gods of the Deep” more than makes up for in stellar creature design and high-octane frights.

Gods of the Deep

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Gods of the Deep does not take long to reference H.P. Lovecraft. Less than a minute has passed before Miskatonic University is mentioned. It is not the last time, as the film has aspects of cosmic horror, old gods, and Cthulhu-esque imagery.

The plot follows the crew of a deep-sea submarine called the Providence 3. The team is on a mission to explore a mysterious portal that has been found on the ocean floor. They discover what seems to be the remains of an ancient civilization. But in doing so, they awaken a race of otherworldly beings.

Gods of the Deep moves at a quick pace. Within the first five minutes, the entire cast is introduced, the two-month training program for the expedition is completed, and the underwater journey begins.

Surprisingly, it never feels haphazard or confusing, though it does lead to a lack of development that is noticeable later.

Since the movie does not take the time to add depth to the characters, there is little emotional impact when the action kicks in.

It is clear that Jim (Derek Nelson) and Christine (Makenna Guyler) have formed a strong bond after they first met, but since that entire time takes place off-screen, it does not resonate with the audience. This could have been remedied with a short scene on the sub — a comment about how close they have become or even a kiss — but there is nothing.

Still, it is more than other members of the crew get. Two of them seem to be there just to die while another fills the role of the bad guy for… reasons. Even the actions of the two unscrupulous scientists are vaguely explained.

Gods of the Deep has a story to tell, and everyone involved is just there in service of it.

The rapid storytelling and lack of strong characters should sink the whole thing.

And yet, Gods of the Deep is able to remain engaging thanks to non-stop chaos.

The plot kicks in once the team enters the portal. At this point, it is full speed ahead as things never slow down. It can be a lot to keep up with at times, but it adds to the hectic nature of the story. Once the danger begins, it truly seems like there is no hope.

The creature design is surprisingly good and is easily the highlight. The monster looks downright frightening, and the camera shows it from all angles. Some shots are done from a distance to showcase just how enormous the being is, while others are up close to make it look more terrifying.

Even though the Providence 3 is sorely lacking as a supposed state-of-the-art submersible, the Big Bad is ALWAYS impressive.

Gods of the Deep also uses color very well. Blue lighting lets audiences know that even when things are running smoothly, it is still a dreary situation, and red highlights the danger.

However, it is the vivid purples that really stand out. It is used sparingly to showcase the cosmic nature of the horror, and it is effective every time.

Some movies are meant to be enjoyed in the most visceral fashion possible. There is no deeper meaning or convoluted plot. Gods of the Deep is a perfect example of escapism viewing.

Shockingly good effects and a no-nonsense approach make Gods of the Deep the type of enjoyable watch there is not enough of nowadays.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4
Gods of the Deep releases on VOD/digital on February 6, 2024.

4 Comments

4 Records

  1. on February 14, 2024 at 9:25 am
    John Auber Armstrong wrote:
    Do Not Use Cthulhu With Silicon Based Lubricants Well, mileage varies, considerably. I thought the Cthulhu creature looked like a finger puppet and the climactic battle on the sub turned into a laughably hamfisted Ramboesque cartoon, and not a good cartoon, either. When the male lead Jim starts screaming and blasting away with his automatic rifle - disregarding the inadvisability of firing such a weapon in a tin can 38,000 feet below sea level, all attempts at seriousness had fled. And why does he strip down to a shorts-and-singlet scuba suit to use the one-person sample retrieval craft? One can only assume it's a beefcake move ... and the cod Alien horror in the hospital at the end of the movie looked like she was giving birth to a selection of sex toys. I expected to see "Creature Effects by Bad Dragon" in the credits. Not a bad effort on what was clearly a minuscule budget but several of the actors, most guilty being the lead, Jim, should not be receiving payment as any kind of professional actor. Bumped up to two stars just by way of encouragement
    Reply
    • on February 14, 2024 at 12:57 pm
      Nathaniel Muir wrote:

      While I still do think the special effects were good, you pretty much nailed everything else. The “time for fried calamari” line is especially laughable. We get into it more – especially the Lovecraftian elements – on our podcast, Adventures in Movies.

      Reply
  2. on February 24, 2024 at 10:18 pm
    Jim David wrote:
    Reviewer is Drunk This was one of the worst movies I’ve had the displeasure of watching in the past decade. I can only assume the reviewer either got a free screener and is hoping to get more by posting a favorable review or they are in middle school.
    Reply
    • on February 25, 2024 at 7:29 pm
      Nathaniel Muir wrote:

      Any suggestions for what I can watch and review? I am always looking to expand my horizons.

      Reply

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