In Submerged, Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls) stars as an ex-soldier turned bodyguard hired to protect a young woman. But while cruising with a group of friends one night, their stretch limo is run off the road and into the water by a gang of ruthless kidnappers — who then dive in to finish the job. Suddenly it’s sink or swim, as the bodyguard must fight to keep the vehicle from becoming a watery grave.
'Submerged', not to be confused with the Steven Seagal vehicle 'Submerged', (however, if Seagal was a part of the former, it would've helped, something I thought I would never say), is a modern film in the horror/thriller genre that just misses the mark at every turn. This film has a good setup at least, but nothing really makes sense, the acting is downright laughable, and nothing seems that suspenseful, given the situation.
In addition to the poor story and acting, the editing and filmmaking are truly chaotic. It's difficult to decipher who's who, what's what, and why's why, but really, there's no point in understanding any of it really. 'Submerged' starts out decent enough, with a limo crashing into a body of water with a few teens in the back as the now drowned limo is slowly filling with water.
Sooner than later, that water is going to fill that limo up and everyone will be dead. Luckily, the driver is former Army Ranger and could probably save everyone, but in the first scene, he is injured, therefore incapable of really helping. Meanwhile, in the back of the limo is a gaggle of horrible teens who instead of trying to figure a way out of the limo safely, accuse one another of cheating, lying, and having sex with one another. One guy even just wants to know the time. We don't know why or really how this happened, but like 'LOST', we have a series of flashbacks of key moments that led up to the limo under water.
There's a side story of an unlikable father of one of the teens and a few cameos of Mario Van Peebles and Tim Daly. That's as good as it gets. The film tries to play the crime story "who-did-it" mystery angle through the flashbacks, but nothing ever really materializes that is in any way original, fun, or suspenseful. 'Submerged' is better left under water for sure, due to this many inconsistencies, lack of suspense or thrilling moments, and bad acting. Now to think of it, Stephen Seagal would've saved this movie from drowning.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
'Submerged' comes with a 25GB Blu-ray from Scream Factory that is Region A Locked. There is no insert or digital download code here. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with reversible cover art. A few trailers play before the main menu pops up.
'Submerged' comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio from Scream Factory. Overall, the video portion looks decent, but due to the severe quick cuts, multiple flashing lights, and very low lit interiors inside the limo, you can't get a good glimpse of anything for very long. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout, particularly during certain flash backs and when the limo has good lighting.
Facial features and textures show up nicely in closeups, but it's nothing revolutionary. Some of the detail is hindered from the red, purple, and blue flashing lights, which make things a little soft. Colors look good and well saturated, but nothing is ever really bright or pops off screen with the exception of those flashing lights, which become more of an annoyance than anything. Black levels are deep and inky for the most part and the skin tones are natural. There were no major problems with any banding, aliasing, or any other compression issues.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and does a decent job as well as it can. Nothing will blow you away sound wise, but sound effects tend to be a bit robust and full. Gun shots, cars driving, and the sound of water all sound good. When water leaks in from different sides of the limo, the rear speakers come through and make you think your ceiling or house is leaking.
Ambient noises in flash backs or water do their job as well. The soundtrack and score come through nicely and might be the loudest part of the film, always adding to each scene, or at least trying to add to the suspense. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, even over everyone yelling at once. The bass kicks in from time to time and there are no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills.
Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'Submerged' has a decent premise and set up for about two minutes, then it just nose dives or in this case sinks to the bottom of the ocean as fast as it can. The acting, camerawork, script, and just about everything else is just misses the mark in every way. I feel bad for Mario Van Peebles. The video and audio presentations are both decent enough, but the only bonus feature is a theatrical trailer, which is just fine by me. Skip it.