Up From The Depths is a post traumatic shark drama

From The Depths takes the bold step of setting the entire movie *after* the shark attack, which drives the story, has already occurred. Plagued by flashback nightmares and hallucinations, Liz (Angelica Briones) is the sole survivor of a great white shark attack’s toothy embrace. Liz’s life has become a kaleidoscope of terror where even her swimming pool isn’t safe, and adding to her turmoil is a fledgling relationship with Roberta (Terra Strong), her would-be girlfriend who’s left navigating the tempest of Liz’s trauma.

From The Depths certainly deserves credit for trying to do something new with the played-out sharksploitation genre. The depths are psychological, not oceanic! Everything’s metaphorical, and it’s all just a load of old symbolics. While an incredibly poor CGI shark does make fleeting appearances, much of the action takes place in Liz’s therapist’s office or in her kitchen, where she’s rivalling Scrooge or, perhaps more accurately, An American Werewolf In London’s Jack Goodman in the being-haunted-by-my-dead-friends stakes.

However, even the bravest of attempts can falter and while the idea has merit, the execution leaves much to be desired. The acting, while earnest, lacks the skill and gravitas necessary to anchor the film’s weighty themes. Scenes meant to be poignant or tense occasionally drift into unintentional comedy, a consequence of performances that don’t quite hit the mark, a risibility compounded by the CGI shark’s laughably cartoony appearances.

From The Depths’ ambitions outreach its finesse – and its resources. While the occasional scene manages to convey a haunting, surreal quality, reminiscent of a low-budget Lynchian fever dream, others flounder, bogged down by a script that struggles to balance its psychological aspirations with coherent storytelling.

In the end, From The Depths is an almost quirky, almost great film that doesn’t quite manage to stay afloat. For those fooled by the misleadingly shark-centric poster, be prepared for a cheap and cheerless plunge into psychological drama rather than a bite of silly shark shenanigans, despite a last-minute hail-Mary shock ending borrowed from Carrie.

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