Filmmakers and filmgoers alike haven’t lost their fascination for shark movies since Jaws rewrote the summer cinema rule book back in 1975. But this curious subgenre has often sailed into choppy waters – Sharknado, Ghost Shark, Amityville Shark, for god’s sake – and some real atrocities have been brought to the screen in the name of galeophobia. The latest to join an often not-especially-illustrious list of epics is Deep Fear. Although, in fairness, it’s not just a shark movie, but our apex predator friends do play a significant part in this choppily enjoyable seaborne romp directed by Marcus “I’ve got a drone camera, and I’m going to use it” Adams.
Madalina Ghenea (think Angelina Jolie if she wasn’t a very good actor) plays Naomi, a yachtswoman working in the Bahamas and still suffering from PTSD following the death of her parents at sea when she was a child. While her fiancé Jackson (Ed Westwick) heads back to the mainland on business, Naomi sets out to sea. But her journey comes to a halt when she finds a couple of survivors of a shipwreck adrift at sea. She helps them aboard her vessel, but they quickly turn on her. Their ship was transporting a huge stash of cocaine, and they violently press-gang Naomi into helping them recover it. Meanwhile, a group of hungry sharks are circling, and if they had lips, they’d probably be licking them in anticipation of a few tasty fresh meat meals.
Despite some iffy acting, Deep Fear is enlivened by some well-staged action scenes, intermittent bloody shark attacks and some proper tension during the diving sequences. It’s forgettable finny fun, but there are a lot worse shark-based movies waiting out there in the deep waters of low-budget moviemaking.
DEEP FEAR is available on Netflix now.