By Jason Delgado
The Deep House is one of those rare films that brings us something that we’ve never seen before (and a novel idea at that): an underwater haunted house flick. The story follows a young social media influencer couple, played by James Jagger (Mick Jagger’s son) and Camille Rowe (Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend/model), as they dive down under a secluded lake to explore a submerged home, in order to gain more likes and subscribers. While under the lake, the young lovers quickly find out that they’ve been caught in a house of horrors.
Filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Leatherface) have impressively created this film using no CGI, having built the haunted house structure in a water tank in Belgium. I love that this filmmaking team used practical effects, and wish that more movies would do that when possible, because it offers a more realistic feel (we’ve all seen bad CGI that takes us out of the illusion of a film).
The Deep House features beautiful cinematography (both of the sweeping shots of trees in the beginning, and then in the depths of the lake for the majority of the movie) by Jacques Ballard, who created Beyonce’s aquatic music video Runnin. Ballard is an experienced diver as well, and I think that helps greatly in his approach to camera shots underwater.
Camille Rowe has mostly worked in music videos and short films up until this point, but she did a fantastic job of acting naturally in this film. James Jagger is another relative newcomer to acting, but his style felt more like someone still learning the trade, having come off to me as a bit stiff.
I think that the concept of The Deep House is fantastic, and it’s surprising that it hasn’t really been done before. The mere thought of trouble underwater is scary enough for people like myself who grew up watching Jaws or the Poseidon Adventure, and then to throw in the added supernatural element would seem to make for a perfect horror marriage.
Sadly, this movie just wasn’t frightening enough for my tastes. Maybe it was the way that it was shot (everything was brightly lit, probably because it would be too dark underwater otherwise), but merely seeing a doll or dead people floating by wasn’t enough to get my adrenaline flowing. The finale does up the ante, and the protagonists are on a timer with a limited breathing supply, but I wanted something more out of this juicy concept.
I give The Deep House two hot sauce packets out of five. I was craving fire, but the water put it out.
The Deep House is available on November 5 on Epix and for digital purchase on Paramount Home Entertainment.