Movie Review of the short film “Submerged”

“Submerged” played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2015, part of its best of horror/thriller short film lineup. It received rave reviews from the audience winning two awards: Best Overall Performance and Best Original Score.

SUBMERGED, 15min, UK, Haunting/Romance
Directed by Darren Mapletoft

When a teleportation experiment goes wrong, submariner Billy Bourne finds his crewmates have all disappeared. Determined to dance with his ‘Baby’ again, he faces a race against time to make his own escape.

SUBMERGED Movie Review by Amanda Lomonaco

WARNING! DO NOT watch this film if you are claustrophobic. I am only very minimally scared of cramped spaces but I am TERRIFIED of being buried alive, and of course this film brought out both those elements together perfectly. Again, as a lover of horror, mystery, thriller, and all things Halloween-esque, I was still able to throroughly enjoy this flick despite my continuous sense of discomfort. In fact I suspect it was Darren Mapletoft’s ability to make me feel so thoroughly uncomfortable that made me enjoy the film so much.

The great thing about the cinema is that it allows us to feel things that we would otherwise never experience in our daily lives. It allows us to embody someone else’s experience if only for a few minutes, and escape from our own world in the safety of the theathre’s seats. Even if what we experience is a series of negative emotions, when it’s all over you come out of it just a little more grateful for your own life, and appreciative of the fact that it’s not half so bad as what you just felt.

Submerged was definitely one of those experiences. One commentator described perfectly the feeling that throughout the film you felt like you were gasping for air. As the oxygen began to run out in the submarine I felt my throat constricting and found myself involuntarily conserving my breaths.

The story itself is quite beautiful, and you spend the entirely short cheering for the young couple, hoping that they’ll find each other again. Some people were a little confused by the ending, but most felt that they enjoyed the fact that it was somehow both open ended and finite. You could draw your own conclusion from it, and it was somehow still satisfying enough that you weren’t left too confused, or overly skeptical.

Submerged was a fantastic way for WILDSound to finish its October line-up, and if nothing else it certainly helped increase my lung capacity. Those averse to soppy love stories, science fiction, tight enclose spaces, or being buried alive, may not quite enjoy this film as throroughly as I did. Then again, maybe you’re a bit of a lunatic like me and enjoy suffering for the purpose of your own entertainment. Give it a try, you might learn something new about yourself.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK for SUBMERGED: