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Monday, November 15, 2021

The Deep House 2021 * * * Stars


2021's The Deep House is my latest write-up. Dug this French-produced movie and the title, well it's pretty self-explanatory. 

So OK, let's not beat around the bush. The Deep House is a ghostly horror flick that will indeed give you the creeps. Its blueprint is a sadistic haunted house that lies meters down below a lake. Bona fide concept if I might say so myself. The lead actors are a little annoying at the beginning but you feel their suffering in the end. Yeah, for the majority of "House's" brief running time I was sent away with my knees knocking.

The Deep House is what you get when the films Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, The Descent, and 1989's The Abyss adopt a child. It's gotta be tough filming anything underwater and directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo go into the project with reckless aplomb. I'm thinking some professional divers did the diving and troupers James Jagger and Camilla Rowe did the emotive voice dubbing. If that's the case then those are some darn good dubs. 

"House" builds a lot of collywobbles throughout until it bogs down a little bit by the third act. Don't worry, it's not a huge oversight. The Deep House is not jolt-happy mind you, just flat-out eerie. Maury and Bustillo are almost Hitchcockian in their approach. What you're waiting to see scares you as opposed to thrusting the horror and anguish at you right off the bat. The underwater mansion is the star and minus some occasional jittery camerawork, its callous images and hostel environment really suck you in. All that and the main characters have to worry about their level of oxygen, their level of normality, and well, the concept of the bends. Yeesh. 

If you wait till after the closing credits, The Deep House provides one brief scene that you can interpret any way you want. By then I already had my recommendation in place. Safe "house". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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