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Movies & TV

19th Jun 2024

Under Paris fans should check out this other solid new shark movie

Stephen Porzio

While we wait for the presumably inevitable Under Paris 2 to be made, another shark flick is worth seeking out.

Following its release on Netflix earlier this month, French shark movie Under Paris has become a runaway success – garnering 41 million views in its first five days, as well as the praise of horror legend Stephen King.

There has even already been talk of a sequel to the aquatic thriller, though this will probably take years to come to fruition.

In the meantime, however, another shark film is available to watch from this week in cinemas titled Something in the Water.

Kicking off far from the sea in the UK, the movie opens with a harrowing sequence which sees couple Kayla (Natalie Mitson) and Meg (Hiftu Quasem) walking home late at night where they draw the ire of a gang of youths who hurl homophobic insults at them.

When Kayla responds angrily to them, the group start attacking Meg – with the assault leading to the latter developing PTSD and the pair splitting apart.

Cut to a year later and Kayla and Meg are reunited at a destination wedding in the Caribbean at which their friend Lizzie (MVP Lauren Lyle) is the bride.

The day before the wedding, the trio – alongside party girl and Lizzie’s soon-to-be-sister in-law Cam (Nicole Rieko Setsuko) and the friends’ more cautious pal Ruth (Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart) – decide to take a shabby little motor boat and venture to an idyllic nearby island off the beaten track.

While there, however, disaster strikes and the group wind up stranded in the sea far from the coast in shark-infested waters.

Right off the bat, its worth noting that Something in the Water is a more standard shark movie than Under Paris, with the cinema release boasting nothing even half as thrilling as the French film’s shocking final 20 minutes.

That said, they do share some similarities, with both films making it a point to highlight the pollution of our seas and boasting a nice layer of dark comedy.

On the latter, the part in Something in the Water where bridezilla Lizzie screams in disbelief: “You brought me into shark-infested waters the day before my wedding!” got chuckles out of several critics at the press screening.

Plus, Something in the Water has something Under Paris doesn’t quite have: relatable characters who get way in over their heads in a truly frightening situation, one which will have viewers wondering what they would do amid the same circumstances.

Writer Cat Clarke does solid work establishing all the characters and their bond, though a lovely and beautifully staged scene by director Hayley Easton Street where the central five spontaneously and joyfully dance to S Club 7 hit ‘Reach’ sells their connection more than words and in-jokes ever could.

As the group’s situation becomes more and more dire and they begin to get picked off one-by-one by sharks – to Clarke and Street’s credit, not all the characters audiences expect to survive do – this early happiness melts away and is replaced by bickering and blame games.

While this in-fighting does get tiring, especially as there are long scenes in which no sea creatures appear, the movie does close with a tense-as-hell and emotionally satisfying last act which is all the more taut because the viewer is truly not sure if the characters they like will still be breathing by the end credits.

It is moments such as these, along with the emphasis on character, that makes Something in the Water worth seeking out for shark movie fans – particularly those that enjoy the more-stripped down likes of Open Water, The Reef and The Shallows.

Something in the Water is in cinemas on Friday, 21 June.

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