Deep (2021) review – deeply disappointing sci-fi horror that is more a teen drama

By Romey Norton
Published: July 16, 2021
Thai Netflix film Deep 2021


This film has a lot of typical Hollywood storylines mixed together, and it does not work.

This review of the Thai Netflix film Deep (2021) contains spoilers. 

For a film about not being able to or allowed to fall asleep, I certainly almost did. If this is the irony of the film, then well done.

Deep is the new Thai Netflix Original psychological sci-fi thriller and is the second Thai Original film to be released on Netflix in 2021, which led me to believe it would have had a unique and fresh concept, especially being made by a Thai production. There is definitely a new wave of Thai films and directors with cult and indie appeal. However, with this film, the storyline is familiar and has clearly been made to try and have a universal appeal. I was surprised when it started, and it is dubbed with English voice-overs instead of subtitles. I find dubbed voices quite distracting. Personally, I prefer subtitles. I think dubbed voices can take away a lot from the actors and not fully deliver the emotion and intention we need as viewers. 

In this film, we follow four university students who have insomnia who are lured into a neuroscience experiment that spirals uncontrollably. Trapped within their own minds, they must find a way to escape before it is too late. Basically, don’t fall asleep. A reverse Inception, if you will. I prefer the idea of actually being asleep. 

I would class this film as a teen drama more than a sci-fi horror film. Sometimes, there is a good rhythm and a build-up of suspense, but it doesn’t lead to anything. The rest of the film feels slow and is a slog to watch. The fear factor is not there. The characters are quite flat, annoying, and ironically, not deep. There’s nothing to identify or resonate with. I couldn’t have cared less about them. One character’s main issue is that she “looks like a zombie” (she doesn’t). Two boys and two girls, we know there’s going to be a building romance, which there is, and it’s boring. 

As the film goes on, the plot tries to thicken, the risks try to become greater, the characters’ backstories try to be developed, but they’re not. Long-winded and not captivating.

Plot twist? Spoiler alert:

It was the nice professor all along. But why do we care? She still paid them, and it was about the money unless I missed something. Wait, we learn they weren’t paid for level three. How dare she. This film has a lot of typical Hollywood storylines mixed together, and it does not work. I don’t recommend this film if there is anything else on your watch list first.

What did you think of the Thai Netflix film Deep (2021)? Comment below.

Movie Reviews, Netflix