Friday, April 23, 2021

The Deep Ones (2020)


A couple trying to recover from the death on their child go to gated ocean community in Oxnard.  As they settle into the  routine of the place things begin to seem off. Strange thigs begin to be happening and bosomy young ladies are around the community’s leader.  Is it possible that the reason for everything being wrong has to do with the Elder Gods?

Of course.

Welcome to a new iteration of HP Lovecraft tale The Shadow over Innsmouth. Bumped up and expanded to feature length.

That last line is key since outside of Lovecraft’s novels, his tales are short on narrative threads. Yes, there is a through line, but Lovecraft’s tales are more about mood and headspace. They are intentionally lacking in details since what he leaves out is more often than not what scares the crap out of us. When you make a film of Lovecraft’s tales you end up with two problems, the first is that they have to give shape to things unsaid, and the other is that you have to take what should be a 20 minute film and make it 90.  Few films have managed to make it work, the best being REANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND.

While nowhere near the best film nor the worst, THE DEEP ONES is somewhere in the middle.  Blame the expansion of the almost hundred year old story into something modern. While we get lots of bits of Lovecraft’s tale, we also get a lot of new material and it doesn’t always blend together. We can feel the grafting, with the result that the film feels kind of like some of the lesser 1970’s horror films that only aficionados or regular customers of Sinister Cinema know. Frankly this is the sort of film that would have played at a drive in back in the day when they were full of low budget schlock.

Honestly I liked THE DEEP ONES. For me it was a nostalgic throw back to a time gone, Is it for you? If you don’t mind old school schlock horror that mixes scantily clad women and monsters and it’s a slow night I’d say give it a go.

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