THE DEEP HOUSE **** France/Belgium 2021 Dir: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury. 85 mins
Hearing of a new location to explore, travel vloggers Ben (James Jagger) and his wife Tina (Camille Rowe) arrive in a remote village in France to look into the history of a house submerged at the bottom of a local lake. Arriving at the location with the help of guide Pierre (Eric Savin), they dive to the fabled house and are shocked to discover that it looks lived in despite being sunk to the bottom of the lake, and the more they stay they come to realize their presence has disturbed a deadly secret held inside forcing them to band together to survive the encounter.
Overall, “The Deep House” is enjoyable if a somewhat unremarkable genre effort. When this one works the best is due mainly to the highly effective atmosphere present during the numerous investigation scenes of Ben and Tina in the house with the slow camera movements and eerie abandoned state of the area. These are usually quite unnerving that’s made all the more impressive with the truly foreign environment being as deep as they are with the desolate sign of life around that are perfectly in keeping with the atmospheric touches throughout the rest of the film. On top of that, the film’s second half features a ton of effective shock scenes as the two swim through the submerged house with the hints that something is down there with them and lead to some great times with hearing noises, flash visions of someone or something in the outer limits of the house or the various mechanical malfunctions which signal something is going on. Once they discover what’s happened and are being tormented by a series of effective attacks, there are some thrilling and genuinely tense moments especially and with the brutality of the big twist at the end has quite a lot to like which holds it up over its few flaws. The main detrimental factor here is that the finale has way too much-rushed exposition that doesn’t need to be there with the whole thing coming out of nowhere with very little setup or cause to exist in the first place by spelling out something that didn’t really need it. With the finale also needing a twist that can be seen coming a mile away with the setup already accomplished, this also feels rushed and underwhelming as the whole thing runs through the motions of everything and generates the kind of empty feeling at the end that brings this down.
Review by Don Anelli