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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

I remember watching the back half of this movie for the first time in high school. We were out of town for Academic Decathalon and staying at a hotel which, for me, meant channel surfing. I came across this (probably on Sci Fi) right at the moment of Samuel L. Jackson's speech. And when the moment that immediately follows happened, I had to watch the rest.


I'm still mindblown at the hutzpah it took to do that. This movie is almost 25 years old and I refuse to spoil it in a blog that very few people read. And it holds up.


The moment, anyway. The rest of it? Gosh, the older I get, the more put off I am by brutal death scenes in movies. I used to think the brutality of Stellan Skarsgard's death was so absurd it circled around to funny but now? Ugh. I can only think of what it would feel like to watch a loved one die like that. Interestingly, when movies care about the characters they're killing, I can deal with it more. Something Andy and I talk about a lot during Movie Club, the best horror movies make it tragic that some young, vital human dies (and the cream of the crop cut away from the violence), and the worst ones just make it a kill tally. Deep Blue Sea is too close to the latter for me now.


Things I appreciate about it:

-The amount that Thomas Jane falls over tickles me. Not because he's injured but because people fall over when they run across a wet, metal surface, or get hit by a massive wave. I like his character more because he's not super human.

-The director also did Cliffhanger (LOVE) and Cutthroat Island. That tracks and I love it.

-The Saffron Burrows stripping down to her skivvies moment. For one thing, I think that moment is what tips Deep Blue Sea into horror-action and not just action. I also think it's incredible pseudo-science used to justify a hot woman getting nearly naked. And the movie knows it's stupid. Which goes a long way for me.

-The deaths are surprising. I've seen this movie about a dozen times and I still forget about the last kill.

-LL Cool J. Especially his track on the soundtrack, "Deeper Bluer (My Hat is Like a Shark's Fin)". What!?



I thought a lot during this viewing about my predilection for ocean based horror/thrillers. Jaws being chief among them but also Sphere (the book more than the movie), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and more! I'm not an ocean person. I hate the beach. If you asked me what scares me, deep sea creatures probably wouldn't crack the top 20 though I recognize they are terrifying. But this movie gives me the willies. Being deep underwater in an enclosed space? NO THANK YOU. I do have submechanophobia (fear of underwater machinery, particularly animal shaped things (?)) which is way more amusement park related than literally anything else (hello again 20k Leagues). I don't have an answer for it but I'm curious about it. Why am I so drawn to scary stories about a thing I'm mostly indifferent to?


Acrylic paint on metal lighter



Takeaways:

-This was pure fun. I really enjoyed the idea. I loved the process. It turns out that spending money on good art supplies pays off! Posca markers are incredible.

-I honestly don't have a lot to write about this. I see where I can do better (layering paint does not pay off in this scale/medium). I kept telling myself I should take a picture of the paint job before I removed the painter's tape in case I took some of the paint with it and ope! I was impatient and sure enough peeled off part of the design and needed to redo it. Ah well. Lesson learned but we'll see if I implement it next time. Hahaha

-I'm bummed I couldn't find my lighter fluid so I could have a cool picture of the lit lighter but I probably sensibly got rid of that years ago. Or I'll find it the minute I walk through the door with a new can.

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