THE DEEP HOUSE. 2021 DIRECTED AND CO-WRITTEN BY ALEXANDRE BUSTILLO AND JULIEN MAURY. PRODUCTION COMPANY: BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS.
STARRING JAMES JAGGER, CAMILLE ROWE AND ERIC SAVIN.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I’ve seen this seventy-five-minute horror film twice now. The first time, I was alone, it was night-time and I’ll admit I was thoroughly spooked by it. Then I watched it with my two (adult) kids over our Saturday night takeaway because I wanted them to see and enjoy it too.
They thought it was rubbish. Garbage. A load of old bollocks. My son even made some rude toilet noises to express his disapproval. I was gutted. I just wanted them to like it too, even though there’s a lot wrong with it. It just rubbed me up the right way at the right time, I guess. That can happen sometimes.
The story has two main characters, Ben and Tina. They’re a You-Tubing, engaged American couple, New York to be precise, who film cool, out-of-the-way or haunted locations in the hope of one day making it to a million views.
Ben is the driving force behind the relationship. What Ben says goes. Sure, Tina will whinge and whine about it and call him mean and a dick, but ultimately Ben’s will triumphs over Tina’s every time, because he is strong-willed and she is weak-willed. See?
Their latest project has had a whopping half a million views, but greedy Ben isn’t happy with that. He wants a million views, and, to ensure that the beautiful but insecure Tina has an incentive to work even harder on his goal, he teases her about them getting married once their website has hit those all-important million views. I think that’s a pretty crappy thing to do, taking advantage of Tina’s vulnerability and insecurities, but a lot of guys are like this, sadly. Some women too, no doubt.
They travel to the South of France to seek out a sanatarium that’s submerged under an artificial lake. The place is mobbed with tourists, however, and Ben has a massive sulk over the thwarting of his lovely plan. No amount of consoling from Tina will help.
Enter Pierre, a mysterious French local who’s the image of Roger Taylor from QUEEN as he is now, and his cunning plan to take the couple miles off the beaten track to see an even more submerged wonder… an old family home, perfectly preserved, at the bottom of another lake, only they have to drive quite far and then hike on foot for a couple of miles to get to it. Are they perchance interested? Ben nearly wets himself, he’s so eager to do this thang.
So it’s on with the diving gear and into the lake, while Pierre ‘minds’ their stuff for them. Oh, he’ll ‘mind’ their stuff for them all right. I’m sure it’ll all be very well taken care of, when Ben-Tina have died horribly at the clawed hands of the haunted house and Pierre gets to keep their stupid drone and expensive camera equipment and other cool You-Tuber gadgets and gizmos.
You’d swear Ben-Tina had never watched a single horror fillum in their whole lives. That’s the only reason, surely, for their trusting acceptance of Eric and his offer to provide them with an ‘alternative’ adventure.
They are as stupid as the stupidest people in horror films ever. No-one knows where they are. No-one knows where they’ve gone. They’re completely at the mercy of this dodgy Pierre fella, who, at the very least, might nick all their cameras and electronic goods. At worst, he might be planning their gory deaths.
Tina doesn’t really even want to go diving in the stupid scary lake, as she’s not sure her diving skills are up to it, but Ben overrules her completely as usual. Down they go, down, down, down to the house under the lake…
When the submerged house looms large in front of them like the wreck of the TITANIC, Ben decides they should ‘split up’ to try and find a way in. Sure, no problem, trills Tina, immediately setting off in the opposite direction to Ben. I don’t believe for a second that that would happen. It’s more likely that she’d be so petrified with fear that she’d refuse to leave his side for a second. Still, it’s a movie. Suspend disbelief and all that.
The house is quite creepy, especially as it’s under water. Under water, sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be. Unexplained noises, lights, shadows, silhouettes and floating dolls all put the willies up our intrepid pair.
I’d have been out of there by the time the first scary doll went floating past my head, but Ben-Tina are determined to unlock the house’s secrets for themselves. Are a few thousand views on You-Tube really worth dying for…? I wouldn’t have thought so but, then, that’s just me. The young ones of today might think differently…
I’m actually not going to tell you any more. What Ben-Tina discover in the house is between themselves and you, if you ever decide to watch this for yourself. I like the film, despite its flaws, and I hope you do too. By the way, if you like bubbles and chains that misbehave for some reason, boy, are you in for a treat…!