The Deep House (2021)

The Deep House
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury, Julien David, Rachel Parker
Cast: Camille Rowe, James Jagger, Eric Savin
Part of: SLASH Film Festival
Seen on: 2.10.2021

Tina (Camille Rowe) and Ben (James Jagger) have a rather popular youtube channel where they explore abandoned houses and sites. For their newest video, Ben has set his sights on an artifical lake under which a town was submerged. But when they arrive, they realize that the place is a popular bathing spot and not the sort of lonely location that they usually visit. Tina wouldn’t mind just spending the day in holiday mode, but Ben starts talking with local Pierre (Eric Savin) who promises to take them to an actually unknown and supposedly haunted house under water. When they start their exploration, they soon find that they may have gotten in more deeply than they wanted.

The Deep House is a very effective scary movie with a really interesting setting. While the story itself is nothing to write home about, the atmosphere really makes this work.

The film poster showing two divers approaching a submerged house. There's a light in one of the windows of the house.

I’m not a diver myself and from what I gather from a friend who also saw the film and who is, this is a bit of an advantage in this case – the diving stuff may belong more in the realm of fantasy. But for the unknowing like me, the film really sells the idea of this dive, of exploring this underwater place. The shoot must have been pretty grueling, I’d imagine.

The setting and its out-of-the-ordinariness does pay off, especially regarding the set design. The house underwater is creepy as fuck, and combined with the way things and people move underwater, it’s absolutely eerie. Plus, there are some really excellent and well-placed jump-scares that quite literally made me jump (my poor seat neighbor in the cinema got an unexpected 3D effect and was jostled along with me).

Tina (Camille Rowe) pulling off her diving mask under water.

The atmosphere of the film is strong enough to keep me glued to the screen despite the fact that I found the plot and explanations a little boring and same-old-same-old-ish, and that I didn’t particularly care for the protagonists. Although, to be fair, it was mostly Ben that I couldn’t stand, Tina was okay. Still, I was rooting for them.

The weakest part of the film was the showdown and the ending. The showdown didn’t quite work for me, it just wasn’t exciting enough. And the ending was a little too dark for my taste. That being said, the rest of the film is definitely strong enough to make me look past that and to recommend the film anyway.

Tina (Camille Rowe) and Ben (James Jagger) diving towards a submerged crypt.

Summarizing: if you’re looking for a good scare, that’s the film for you.

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