Directed by Sheldon Wilson [Other horror films: Shallow Ground (2004), Kaw (2007), Screamers: The Hunting (2009), Carny (2009), Mothman (2010), Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010), Killer Mountain (2011), Scarecrow (2013), Shark Killer (2015), The Unspoken (2015), The Hollow (2015), The Night Before Halloween (2016), Neverknock (2017), Stickman (2017)]
Oh boy. This Syfy film is pretty derivative of better movies from the past (such as 1989’s Leviathan and 1998’s Deep Rising), and doesn’t bring anything remotely interesting to the story to make up for the lack of originality.
What hurts the movie most isn’t necessarily the story, though, it’s the fact that the cast (comprised almost entirely of women) is utterly one-dimensional. I finally ended up learning their names toward the end of the film, but there was very little about the characters that we really knew, aside from the fact they were all on a ship together. None of the actresses did much with their shallow characters, but that’s more likely an issue with the script than the actresses themselves. I guess Nikohl Boosheri did the best, as tepid praise as that is.
The special effects weren’t terrible, though I didn’t care for the look of the parasitic organism. The stale nature of the story doesn’t really lend much in the way of suspense and mystery past a certain point, though, and more so, I can’t think of a reason to watch this when you could instead watch something like The Thing, or Leviathan, or even DeepStar Six. It just seems pointless, especially since there’s not much context to this movie to begin with.
Dead in the Water is an apt name for this – unoriginal ideas combined with uninteresting characters leads to a film that doesn’t take long to show how uninspired it all is. Theoretically, Syfy could have been able to cobble together something better than this (maybe along the lines of The Devil’s Tattoo, also known as Ghost Rig, from 2003), but as it is, this movie is very much so below average.