Another week, another surprise Odeon screening that’s causing uproar and disappointment online. The clues ahead of this one led us to believe that we would be seeing The Dive, which certainly isn’t a horror film. So what was the issue? Well, this was meant to be a ‘Scream Unseen’ screening, usually a chance to get an early look at an upcoming horror film. The trailers before the screening were for a nice selection of horror films due out in the next month, all of which could have been shown and would have pleased everyone a lot more than what they actually got, which was in fact The Dive. Subsequent online grumblings all seemed to follow a similar theme of “Not a horror film, boring!” but for me, this was still a film that I wanted to see. I got to see it early, and it actually had me on the edge of my seat too, for the most part anyway.
Sisters May (Louisa Krause) and Drew (Sophie Lowe) are heading out to a remote location for their annual dive. As they work their way along the remote clifftop road to their destination they chat a little and it’s clear that they generally don’t see much of each other or talk regularly. After parking the car they head down to a small beach area and suit up, leaving some spare air tanks and their possessions on the beach before heading out into the water. It’s immediately apparent just how good a spot they’ve picked for diving as there is a deep drop as soon as you enter the water. The girls are soon exploring the small passageways and caves down there, communicating with each other via radio in their headsets.
But then suddenly a landslide occurs up on the surface and large rocks come tumbling down from the cliffs and into the sea, separating the girls as they dash for cover. As visibility slowly starts to return, Drew discovers that May is nowhere to be seen and after a few minutes of panicked searching she spots a torch beam coming from May’s location. Unfortunately, May is now trapped under one of the fallen rocks and neither of them can shift it. With just over 20 minutes of oxygen left in May’s tank, Drew must head to the surface, call for help and bring back a fresh tank of air from the beach to keep May going. Trouble is, when she gets there the landslide has not only buried the air tanks on the beach but the car keys too. With no way of calling for help and air supplies drastically reduced, a race against time ensues.
The Dive is described as being like Fall, but set underwater. For me, Fall is one of the most intensely enjoyable movies of the last couple of years, now showing on Netflix if you haven’t already seen it. I can understand where the comparison comes from – two girls, a highly dangerous situation, having to overcome one disaster or setback after another while running out of time – but sadly The Dive is nowhere near as good as Fall.
While there are plenty of genuinely tense moments that had me holding my breath on the edge of my seat, what let this movie down was the dialogue and the characters. The tension isn’t maintained well, constantly broken up with repeated flashbacks of the sisters as young girls, glimpses of them having fun in the water or being pushed a little too hard by their father as he shows them how to dive or hold their breath. Sadly, these moments aren’t portrayed well enough and along with the sometimes terrible dialogue and occasional poor underwater visibility, only end up in diluting the overall impact and enjoyment.
The Dive will be in UK cinemas from Friday 25th August
Where to Watch
Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.