π’π¨π¦πžπ­π‘π’π§π  𝐒𝐧 𝐭𝐑𝐞 π–πšπ­πžπ« (2024) Review

Something in the Water opens with an attack in a London subway station. Not by a shark on its way to visit relatives at the aquarium, but by a group of homophobes who take objection to Meg (Hiftu Quasem, Ten Percent, The Witcher: Blood Origin) and Kayla (Natalie Mitson, Last Train to Christmas, The Last Bus) daring to hold hands in public. It leaves Meg with mental and physical scars, as well as causing the pair to break up.

A year later, Lizzie (Lauren Lyle, Outlander, Mercy Falls) and Dominic (Gabriel Prevost-Takahashi, Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas, A Picture of Her) are getting married at a Caribbean resort, reuniting several old friends including Dominic’s sister Cam (, In Her City, Only One Gets Out Alive), Ruth (Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart, The Jury: Murder Trial, One Four Three) and, much to each other’s dismay, Kayla and Meg.

Now that everyone is here, they just need to do something stupid so they can become shark bait. Cam takes care of that by suggesting they all pile into a small motorboat and go off to a deserted island. To make sure their girl’s day out isn’t interrupted, Lizzie lies to Dominic about where they’re going, and for the icing on the cake, Cam insists they all give up their phones and make it a real adventure.

Director Hayley Easton Street, better known as an art director and VFX artist on films likeΒ Wrath of the TitansΒ andΒ Doom, and writer Cat Clarke (Ten Percent, Good Omens) lean heavily into the issues between the former couple in Something in the Water’s first act. Cam accidentally sends Kayla to pick Meg up at the airport, and then the other three, stranding them on the island to force them to talk through their differences.

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I was beginning to think I was watching one of Mandy’s rom-coms until somebody gets a chunk taken out of their leg. In the rush to get back to civilization, they rip the boat’s hull out on a reef, leaving them floating in shark infested waters. To their credit, Street and Clarke don’t follow the same path as recent films likeΒ ManeaterΒ andΒ The Reef: Stalked. They take their cue from Open Water, with the cast subject to as much danger from dehydration and exposure as they are to the hungry creatures swimming around under them.

Something in the Water actually does a good job of making its cast seem like they actually are friends, something a lot of these films fail badly at. That’s a combination of both the script and good performances by the cast. Unfortunately, by spending so much time on their relationships, it also makes it fairly easy to guess who’ll be left when the credits roll, even easier than usual for one of these films.

There isn’t much in the way of shark footage or gore effects, mostly just shots of bloody water, although that’s used to good effect in several scenes, such as red waves washing up on the beach as they’re leaving the island or the boat filling with red water that’s sure to attract predators. For the couple of looks we do get at shark bites, Francesca Van Der Feyst’s, (Dredd,Β The Empty Man) prosthetics are convincingly nasty looking.

Concentrating more on drama and suspense than action and attack scenes, Something in the Water at least attempts to do something different from most shark attack films. It does develop a bit of suspense, but the outcome is obvious, and the slower pace may disappoint those looking for a more straightforward animal attack film.

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SamuelΒ Goldwyn FilmsΒ has released Something in the Water to select theatres and on Digital and VOD Platforms. Studio Canal will release it in the UK on July 5th.

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