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The Curator of Schlock #326 by Jeff Shuster

Underwater

It’s like The Little Mermaid only totally different. 

I like to think I’m not a difficult house guest, but Grantchester is back on Masterpiece Mystery and I will not miss a single episode for anything! Unfortunately, we had quite a storm this past Sunday and I had to send my manservant Jervis out into the thick of it. I asked him to keep the satellite dish steady so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting those nasty digitized bits while I find out if the dashing Will Davenport can repair his strained relationship with his mother. Jervis got a bit drenched and seemed to be working through a fever while cooking my eggs the next morning. He made them over easy instead of sunny side up, but I didn’t say anything because I’m a good guest.

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Tonight’s movie is 2020’s Underwater from director William Eubank. We get flashes of news headlines in the beginning stating something about a drilling station deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Kristen Stewart plays Norah Price, a plucky and nihilistic engineer/computer wiz. You remember Kristen Stewart. She played Bella Swan in those Twilight movies. I’m a bit of a Twihard myself. Team Jacob for the win! Am I right? So Norah is busy brushing her teeth when the underwater bunker begins to shake and the computer is rambling about structural integrity or something to that effect. She runs into another employee of the drilling company, a young man named Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie) before the two of them decide to seal their part of the station off before their section gets flooded..They watch in horror as other crew members run for their lives only to get obliterated because they couldn’t reach safety in time.

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The two of them run into other survivors as they climb through the rubble of the station. These include Paul (T.J, Miller), a funny crew member that won’t be the first to die, Lucien (Vincent Cassel), the French captain of the station, Liam (John Gallagher Jr.), a manly engineer, and Emily (Jessica Henwick), the station’s biologist that loves corgis.

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They need to get out of the collapsing part of the station and don’t ask me to repeat all of the scientific doublespeak spewing from their mouths. The gist is they have to put on these heavy and dangerous high-tech scuba suits that allow them to walk on the surface of the ocean.

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A crack forms in Rodrigo’s helmet once underwater and he can’t handle the pressure. I’m not talking about psychological pressure, but the physical pressure of having no protection from the water at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The rest of the crew move on and gradually learn the cause of the station collapsing. There be monsters swimming around under the sea, squid-like creatures that most likely came through the surface when the drilling crew drilled vin the wrong spot. It’s basically Alien underwater, but it’s better than Deep Star Six. There are worse ways to spend 95 minutes.


Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.