“In the depths of the Seine” / Sous la SeineMovie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On June 5, the horror film “In the Depths of the Seine” was released on Netflix. This is a new film by French director Xavier Jeans, who previously worked on the first film adaptation of the cult stealth action game Hitman, the mediocre horror films The Conjuring: Our Day and Atlantis, and also directed several episodes of the hit series Lupine. In the review below we look at what Jeans offers the viewer in a genre in which, it seems, everything has already been said.

Pros:

several spectacular scenes; fairly high-quality underwater shooting;

Minuses:

cinema cannot be realized qualitatively in any of the genres corresponding to the plot;

“In the depths of the Seine” / Sous la Seine

Genre horror, action thriller
Directed by Xavier Jeans
Starring Bérénice Bejo, Nassim Lieu, Anaïs Parello, Iñaki Lartigue, Leah Levian
Netflix premiere
Year of manufacture 2024
IMDb website

Three years ago, environmental activist Sophia studied a mako shark named Lilith right in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Then the story ended tragically: Lilith tore Sofia’s three colleagues to shreds, among whom was her beloved man. Today, still unable to forgive herself for what happened, the woman leads a lonely life, abandoning the business that was once a real calling for her.

One day, the heroine meets young defenders of nature, who report that Lilith is swimming calmly in the Seine, although this is impossible. When Sofia becomes convinced of this, she joins forces with the Parisian river police to stop the dangerous predator. The situation is complicated by the fact that a triathlon competition is soon to be held on the Seine, and the mayor of the city has already spent budget funds on the event and cannot cancel it because of some mythical shark. When Steven Spielberg released his “Jaws” almost half a century ago, he gave the world not only a standard Hitchcockian thriller, but also, in fact, pointed the industry in the direction thanks to which today we have such a phenomenon as the “summer blockbuster.” After this literally epoch-making film, filming about bloodthirsty sharks could have been stopped in principle, but the film business, as we know, always squeezes the maximum and even more out of successful ideas.

Therefore, today we have a bunch of films about unfriendly fish – from the antediluvian “Piranha 2: The Spawning”, with which James Cameron made his debut, to the more modern “The Shallows”, where a desperate surfer played by Blake Lively fought for her life with a shark one on one. From the frankly bizarre Sharksploitation film Sharknado to the $130 million blockbuster The Meg, about Jason Statham’s battle with a huge megalodon. The same “Jaws” got three sequels, one worse than the other. Even Suicide Squad has its own King Shark.

By the way, if you are interested in movies about underwater danger, the site has a whole selection dedicated to this topic. So, did Jeans’s painting somehow manage to stand out against the backdrop of such diversity? Expectedly, no. The creators tried to move the action to a less obvious location – the underwater catacombs of Paris, and also dilute the plot with political satire. However, none of the above gave the story the core that would make one watch the twists and turns with genuine interest.

It would not be an exaggeration to call “In the depths of the Seine” a boring film, because it does not really realize itself in any of the current genres. As for a horror film, there are not enough quality frightening moments, as for a thriller – there is very little suspense, as for an action film – in fact, exciting action. Also, a hard-nosed politician who refutes all hints of a possible catastrophe and convinces those around her that the situation is under control and you can celebrate to your delight, hardly triggers; everyone already knows that karma will overtake the nasty woman in the finale.

The creators literally poke their noses at all the dirt and damage that the ocean, and the planet as a whole, has suffered from human activity. But such an environmental lesson is actually of little benefit, because there is a risk that you will forget about this film within two hours of watching it.

The movie becomes a little more interesting, but at the same time more absurd, in the second half, closer to the finale, when the narrative becomes noticeably livelier, and a light version of the bloody chaos from the “Piranha” franchise of the 2010s begins to take place on the screen. Here Jeans allows himself to show off several bitten limbs and spectacular scenes with shark pirouettes. But if the creators of “Piranha” did not even hide the fact that they were filming outright frivolous trash, then the authors of “In the Depths of the Seine” are playing a serious movie with an important environmental message, which is not beneficial.

There is no one to root for here, because you won’t find such characters with whom you would like to empathize in the film during the day. Moreover, local drama suggests moments when the viewer can rejoice in the fact that some characters will turn into shark dinner. Bon appétit, as they say.

Obviously, most of the budget was spent on the ending. Here Jeans gives a little of the explosive Michael Bay, a little of the disaster-loving Roland Emmerich, and here he completes his suffering opus. What do we take away from it? Don’t trust deceitful populists, take care of Mother Nature, and most importantly, avoid low-quality movies by taking the tenth road.

Conclusion:

“In the Depths of the Seine” looks as helpless as the doomed victims of a bloodthirsty predator.

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