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Haunted Underwater Houses: The Deep House (2021) & Sunken American Cities



The Deep House follows a youtube couple who is known for exploring abandoned, creepy, and “haunted” places. They find themselves underwater, exploring an incredibly creepy house. Several red flags and warnings later, they become trapped. A fun found-footage-y film that triggered some of the Ghoul's fears (claustrophobia and underwater) but doesn't quite make it to our favorites list. Gabe has many questions and shares details on how this unique film was made. Kat talks about the real horrors of sunken cities that we are missing in this film.

Sources in this Episode: ‘The Deep House’: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury On the Challenges of Filming a Haunted House Movie Underwater' The Deep House' Directors Chat About Making the Blumhouse-Acquired Underwater Horror Film ‘Atlanta’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: Three Slaps The Center for Land Use Interpretation’s newsletter: The Lay of the Land: Spring 2005, #28 Drowned towns: What traces of 'ghost' cities lie beneath Alabama's man-made lakes?

 

Media from this week's episode:

The Deep House (2021)

A young and modern couple who go to France to explore an underwater house and share their findings on social media undergo a serious change of plans when the couple enters the interior of a strange house located at the bottom of a lake and their presence awakens a dark spirit that haunts the house.

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

 

The Deep House: Underwater Horrors and Supernatural Threats by Gabe Castro


RED: Quotes, someone else's words.


Plot:

The film follows a youtube couple who are known for exploring abandoned, creepy, and “haunted” places. We first see them exploring an abandoned asylum. We learn fairly quickly what kind of Youtuber Ben is. He jumps out at partner, Tina and immediately establishes himself as the true villain of this film. Ben and Tina decide they are going to explore this sunken town in France, Tina’s home country. It’s clear Tina is in this strictly for her …love??? for Ben (though the lack of chemistry between them is palpable). The film is a mix of found footage, drones, and regular cinematography which I think added to the film. Tina has been training for this dive but is clearly uncomfortable with the challenge. She times herself holding her breath in a tub and reluctantly explains to Ben she’s reached “about 3 minutes,” which informs us just how much time she is going to be left with under the water at the end. Ben makes jokes constantly about her wanting to get out of it. He confirms our suspicions that he is a villain by invading her privacy and filming her while she is peeing (yes, seriously).


Eventually, they get to the town (the part that’s above water). Ben wanders around and pretends to be a real vlogger, explaining the town is practically abandoned even now and is dying. Only to have it revealed, quite quickly, that the town is bustling. It’s just that everyone was already down in the water, enjoying their summer. The sunken city they sought, the supposed abandoned, creepy place that no one has ventured into is actually a popular tourist and summer spot. Ben is deflated while Tina is silently elated. Only, Ben gets to talking to a local, Pierre, and learns there’s still yet something to explore, an abandoned singular house tucked far in the woods and down the water a ways. The adventure is back on! (It’s for the views!)


They arrive at the destination after a hike from the main road (big red flag, but white people be white peoplin). You could not catch me lugging my oxygen through the woods to then go do more physical activity underwater. Couldn’t be me. Ben lets Tina know they have one hour of air which is entirely too little time to do an explore. Throughout the entire underwater adventure, I was constantly yelling to Kat, “How long has it been?” It had to have taken like 20 minutes just to get to the house and inside it. Then they explore it for like ever. They never account for their return trip or like any thoughts about actual diving concerns.


We start our journey underwater and get fun glimpses of cars and other usually above-water things now underwater (and therefore cooler). Ben continues to be the worst. Laughing at Tina when she gets caught on something and becomes panicked. Later, he blares heavy metal music that scares the fish and me (again, he is the villain). When they arrive at the property, the front gates are adorned with religious warnings and paraphernalia. Tina remarks, “I forgot how religious they were back then.” and they both completely ignore or rather shut off their deep-thinking parts of their brain, moving inside without a wonder as to why it appears the townsfolk were trying to keep something evil in. They reach the house and it's oddly sealed up. Why would you need to seal up a house that is being drowned? They spend not a single thought on this query before working to find a way in. One jumpscare-by-fish later, they find the one way in and are excited to make their way through the house. Again, never stopping to think about the fact that there is ONE WAY IN and therefore ONE WAY OUT. If this ONE WAY OUT were to become inaccessible? We don’t worry about that, honey. Eventually, while exploring the house they encounter some unsettling, spooky, and haunted things. The children’s room is eerie and not in the usual way that a child’s bedroom completely submerged underwater and frozen in time would be. But rather, this particular child had some odd hobbies such as stabbing photos through the antlers of a dead deer? They also have video equipment amidst the dolls and girlish delights. Ben thinks he sees a silhouette of a girl on the bed but shrugs it off when nothing is there. Maybe it was the fish?


I forgot to mention they have an underwater compatible drone that follows them around named Tom (like a peeping Tom). This camera was a fun tactic for them to send into a room first to scope it out and make sure it was safe. In the kitchen, Tom glitches. When the couple explore the room, they find a giant Jesus statue hanging on the wall. But it’s not a wall but actually a hidden door. Again, without asking, “Why would people want to hide this secret door with literally Jesus?” they take Jesus from his perch and head on in. In there they find more rolls of footage and a couple hanging above a pentagram. (Hey, who dropped these red flags here?)


A creaky door opens and Ben finds body parts in jars. This is all the last straw for Tina who asks that they leave. Big surprise though, their ONE WAY OUT is now a brick wall because of… satanic witchcraft? Things spiral out here as they continue to make more bad decisions and Tina becomes increasingly appropriately panicked.


Truly Frightening:


I was excited to watch this film and genuinely enjoyed it. Even with its silliness and how angry I was at Ben through the entire piece. Kat is afraid of the ocean, we don’t know what’s down there. But I get claustrophobic. So films in space or certain underwater films like Underwater or The Deep House really frighten me. We don’t belong underwater and you are at the mercy of the equipment. You are always one malfunction, one cave-in, one false step, or one creature away from death.


Things that scared me about this film.

  • One hour is not enough oxygen to be exploring a whole house and you don’t even know where it is exactly. You need to map out how long it takes for everything!

  • No one knows where you are. Pierre, who turns out is a villain (Ben is THE villain but Pierre is bad too), brought you here. It is far from your original intended location. You are in the middle of the woods and now underwater. You have disappeared.

  • They went into the house when there were no exits other than one precarious window that could at any time become obstructed, barring your only escape.

  • They never discuss the issue of swimming too fast to the surface. At least 47 Meters Down explains that. These two never took a diving certification class. No use of sign language or such, used by divers.

  • Tom is an evil robot and I don’t know why he was evil but he was. He was all glowing red, “I can’t let you do that, Tina.”

  • The unanswered question of why everything was in good shape despite being submerged underwater before the protagonists were born.


Things that didn’t scare me.

  • The ghosts were spooky at first. Seeing them preserved was interesting. And I absolutely understand the challenges of filming people without suits underwater and trying to be scary. But to be honest, I could’ve done without them completely. The real horror was being underwater, period.

  • Any of the satanic cult??? plot. It was messy. The family was sacrificing farm kids to ?Satan? for ?reasons? There were scratch marks on the inside of the barricade that was put in there right before they flooded the house. Why? One child was dead, one had escaped (Pierre) and the parents were chained up in the basement. I think they were trying to say this was from the kids they abducted but it makes no sense it would be at the front door. Also, what do Pierre and these ghosts get from this? Do they get to live again? Or is it that killing is fun?


Things that scared me that I am ashamed to admit:

  • That damned fish. Popping in and out and always looking creepy. No thanks.