“Deep House” has a strong premise, but little payoff

I recently watched “Deep House,” and for the most part found the movie to be legitimately creepy. It follows two characters who are urban explorers who dream of making it big on YouTube. They travel to their next challenge, which is to explore a house which is completely submerged underwater. A big part of the movie centers around their exploration of the house. Tension increases as they remind each other, as well as the audience, that they have to return to the surface before their oxygen runs out. But, of course, they run into trouble as they unlock the secrets of the house while encountering the supernatural forces which dwell there.

I was intrigued by the movie because it reminded me of a book I read a couple of years ago called “A House at the Bottom of the Lake.” In it, two teens discover a house which is miraculously preserved. It seems almost unfair to compare the two since they are two different medias, but in my opinion the book told a far more compelling story. There was just something mesmerizing and almost dream-like about how the entire story was constructed.

Three things that would have helped “Deep House” was deeper character development, sharper dialogue, and maybe a little more back story for the house. The movie does reveal more information at the end, but the way that it does it feels somewhat jarring and heavy-handed. As much of a cliche’ for haunted house movies as it might seem, this film would have benefitted from a few scenes where the characters return to the surface and then conducted their own research of the house. It could have been an exploration of knowledge as well as the house itself. But, the main thrust of the story was the underwater environment of the sunken house, and the movie certainly delivered on that.

The movie is worth the watch, although it mostly inspired me to read “A House at the Bottom of the Lake” again, because in the end I discovered that I craved a story that went a little deeper.

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