Something in the Water review: "Bridesmaids meets Jaws in an unmemorable thriller"

Something in the Water
(Image: © Studiocanal)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Fins can’t really get more underwhelming as a Bridesmaids-meets-Jaws premise sinks in an unmemorable thriller.

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Not long after Under Paris made an unexpected splash on Netflix, another shark movie comes swimming into cinemas. Alas, Something in the Water brings very little to a well-worn subgenre. Shark movies tend to work best as either a showcase for pure tension, or when they lean into ludicrously OTT action. Directed by first-time filmmaker and former visual-effects art director Hayley Easton Street, Something in the Water falls unsatisfyingly between those stools.

Its most savage and shocking moment comes at the very beginning, when Meg (Hiftu Quasem) and girlfriend Kayla (Natalie Mitson) are attacked in a homophobic assault. Cut to a year later, and the now-separated pair are reunited at the destination wedding of their old friend Lizzie (Lauren Lyle), with pals Cam (Nicole Rieko Setsuko) and Ruth (Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart) also in attendance.

Cue a boat trip for the "fan-fucking-tastic five" the day before the wedding, and it’s not long before the chums are stranded on an idyllic island hideaway stalked by a hungry shark. That ill-advised excursion is just one of the facepalm-worthy decisions made in a film full of them. 

Ropey dialogue makes it hard to invest in the characters, and even at a lean 90 minutes, the pace drags in places. The shark action is pretty minimal, perhaps due to budgetary constraints, but there’s not enough character development or suspense to mask what’s lacking. The somewhat crass traumatic backstory only adds to the predictability of the eventual outcome.

A solid performance by Quasem and an impressively gruesome early leg-munch aren’t enough to earn Something in the Water anything close to a recommendation. Avoid like a fin in a bay.

Something in the Water is released in UK cinemas on June 21 and is available to stream now in the US. 

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Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.