Awful film that likes to think it’s a modern, glamorous Lovecraft adaptation, but just looks cheap and sleazy.
I’m afraid I don’t have much to say about The Deep Ones. Written and directed by Chad Ferrin, inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft… well if he’s figured out how to turn in his grave, I bet he would be.
The Deep Ones is about Alex (Gina La Piana) and Petri (Johann Urb), who book an Airbnb-style coastal holiday. The couple who own the home, Russel (Robert Miano) and Ingrid (Silvia Spross), are a little too friendly: after welcoming them, they make breakfast for them, invite them out on a boat and introduce them to their friends. Petri is seduced by this welcome (possibly expecting them to be swingers), though Alex is on her guard against the decidedly weird hospitality, while the attention they are unaware of is even weirder.
There is a reasonably decent story here, and Ferrin has translated Lovecraft’s old-fashioned style to a contemporary setting well. The Deep Ones has the potential to be really creepy in parts. However, the production seems cheap and very basic for the most part, like a public TV soap opera. This was especially the case for the sound, as I struggled to hear what people said (not consistently, but on and off), either due to a clash with background score or mumbling. Worse than that is the downright awful acting, across the entire cast. Indeed, there’s a scene with two women looking at old papers and it seems they are trying to remember their lines at times. If the plot had been given to a better team, the result could have been significantly more exciting. There is no tension, but instead a decidedly dull pace.
If you have any affection for cheesy horror tropes, naff post-credits scenes, nudity, or white-robed cults, you’ll be right at home with The Deep Ones. There are even tentacles and a creature that’s swum straight from Innsmouth. But they look so damned plastic! I have read children’s books based on Lovecraft’s writing which showed more respect for the source. There are so many films “inspired” by or adapted from his work that I really cannot think of any reason good enough to watch this one. Go for Color Out of Space or even Castle Freak instead.
Alix has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.