Something in the Water (2024)

Something in the Water Review

Something in the Water

Sharks, blood, and promised jump scares meet in Something in the Water, billed as a comedy thriller. But the laughs never quite break the surface, and the thrills don’t make much of a ripple. Still, this watered-down Jaws meets Bridesmaids does provide some surprises to keep it buoyant and perhaps worth a little escapist fun after all.

Written by Cat Clarke and directed by Hayley Easton Street, the story follows five friends who arrive in paradise for what should be their dream destination wedding or maybe just their final vacation. Lauren Lyle of Outlander stars as Lizzie, whose nuptials they’ve all come to celebrate. Before they plan to attend the wedding at all, Cam (Nicole Rieko Setsuko), Ruth (Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart), and Izzie lure Meg (Hiftu Quasem) and her ex-girlfriend Kayla (Natalie Mitson) into sea for a girls’ day on a boat. The plot is designed to get these women talking again; they broke up after an incident so deeply traumatic that it haunts them still. One mysterious shark attack later changes everything; from there on out it’s about survival.

Ruth draws first blood. A lot of it. But they’re determined to get back somewhere safe. And so fate-twists meet stupidity met with more stupidity met with well you know how these things go: Director Hayley Easton Street is good at these parts of movies set at sea; she brings danger and urgency where this movie needs it most.

Cat Clarke’s script takes an even deeper dive into these relationships’ psychological nature than that one did turning this thing into less “how will five very different people manage to unite?” than “how will five very different people manage to unite … AND SURVIVE?”

Then there’s that takeoff point: This gives the movie something to chew on, throws some humor into the mix when various characters either overreact to their situation or face the absurd of how they ended up bobbing in the ocean with an ominous shark swimming around them somewhere. (It’s a good idea for sure; shows work.) One shark becomes several and that part works, too; it makes things scarier.

The movie starts to lose its way here, though. It sets up this premise but then decides indecisively what it is.

Something in the Water has intriguing creative history, too: Director Hayley Easton Street art directed Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. That gives the film an eye for style as well as a stylistic approach to capturing both the ocean setting and some shark encounters on its low budget allowed.

Screenwriter Cat Clarke who has published seven best-selling YA novels is known for her ability to capture both humor and darkness. She wanted, reportedly, to write a shark movie that would make people cry about humans involved; also sharks going after them. Which touches on another thing: More humans are frolicking now where water used to be blue! Sharks may not like that very much. They’re predators; we enter their territory. But stewardship as well: Shouldn’t at this point all should show little bit more care underwater creatures?

Still, Something in the Water does have humor and darkness, but not enough of it. This does show that both the writer and director might be a little safe with their work or perhaps scared to go beyond what they think is okay. Which makes sense because people now a days hate when things are too extreme or not extreme at all. 

Although, Clark who wrote episodes for Good Omens and Ten Percent, did give us some much-needed sass between the women in this film. For one spoiled bride Lizzie played by Lauren Lyle (Outlander, Karen Pirie) brings most of the comedy. Then Cam who is played by Nicole Rieko Setsuko definitely has some serious spunk. At one point after all the women have been floating in the water way too long her character gets so kick ass fun when the predator comes at her that the movie jumps its own shark as it were.

All together this cast is very likeable. Meg and Kayla’s core problem needs to be fixed eventually or so we would think from watching this movie. The two shared a traumatic event in there past which is where our story starts here and i’ll give them credit for how they handled that part of it but then again like most thrillers being made these days something was missing from here on out throughout this whole ordeal with suspenseful parts lacking any sort of depth sometimes I wonder if they even try anymore..? Anyways back to my point i believe its editing combined with action packed thrills turned up higher than ever before using more special effects during certain scenes instead making them look real could’ve done better somewhere along those lines also maybe some where else too while working on an overall piece such as this one!

However, Something in the Water works fine as a 90 minute date night movie or a flick to go see with friends over drinks after work because it gets you thinking without having to really rack your brain which can be nice sometimes ya know? It’s not Fall or 47 Meters Down. Two movies that had their own creative problems but seemed to grab people anyways.. This movie will get your blood pumping, make you more aware of your surroundings and even clench up here and there so I would say go see it if I were asked. *Dive in* Something in the Water is playing at theaters near you!

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