Submerged is just another thriller we happened to pick up while coasting through our usual choices in the online streaming desert. And, as the disclaimer goes with all thrillers we review, the film is a close cousin of the horror genre and is by no means masquerading as a horror film, but the film's premise is worth pursuing for the sake of review.
Submerged follows two parent-less brothers as the older attempts to retain a decent life for himself and his younger sibling by being the personal bodyguard for a CEO and his daughter. The action quickly turns to a submerged (get it???) limousine containing the older brother, the CEO's daughter, and a bunch of friends. While our underwater victims scramble for a way out, the film does regular flashbacks to how the people got into the current predicament, which eats up a majority of the film's runtime.
The premise sounds dumb, but a movie centered around people attempting to escape an otherwise inevitably deadly situation has always intrigued me. Unfortunately, the film's constant flashbacks made you feel rather disconnected from the happenings in the limo and left you relatively disinterested in the plot's progression. I care less and less about the struggles of the older brother's home life as things seemingly become more dire in the sunken limo, yet the lack of actual productive problem solving in the limo was more frustrating than thrilling.
The final act possesses a cliche carousel of villain reveals that feel laughable as they come forward one by one. The overall hate for the layoff-loving CEO, despite his seemingly good-natured demeanor, leaves you not in a state of empathy for the bad guys, but rather this disjointed apathy somewhere in the middle in which you really don't care who wins at the end of the day. Everyone, except our martyr of an older brother, is fairly unbearable by the time bullets start flying.
The film attempted to deliver something fresh with its unusual circumstance it throws its characters into. Unfortunately, the film doesn't spend enough time developing on this vehicle (pun intended), and we are eventually left with the action film climax tropes you come to expect from any mainstream action thriller, filled with antagonist monologues galore. There's enough entertainment found in the unknown to enjoy the film for most of its runtime, but it wasn't near as interesting as I would have hoped.
Horror Qualifier: 3/10
Horror Quality: 2/10
Film Quality: 4/10