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Deep House’s Unique Premise and Eerie Setting Are Hindered by Its Unlikable Characters

India has been an avid fan of all things spooky and scary ever since she can remember.


"That is not dead which can eternal lie."

— The Deep House, 2021

While 2021’s Deep House has potential, ultimately the film is hampered by static, unlikable characters. While it isn’t the worst way to spend an hour and a half, the directors certainly could have done more with the story. Still, if you’re in the mood for something that isn’t too serious, I’d recommend giving Deep House a shot. Just keep your expectations low!

The movie follows Tina (Camille Rowe) and Ben (James Jagger), a twenty-something couple with a passion for urban exploration. Seeking to up the ante, they decide to explore a house located at the bottom of a lake. (At least they don’t have to worry about being caught trespassing.) However, when our intrepid explorers attempt to return to the surface, they discover that the house won’t let them leave…

Given that Ben and Tina are the main characters—as well as the only ones with a significant amount of screen time—you’d expect them to be likable, or at least tolerable. While horror movie characters are known for their questionable decision-making, audiences are usually able to root for them despite their foolhardy behavior. (After all, most of us would have a hard time thinking straight while being hunted by an axe murderer.) Sadly, that isn’t the case here. Despite his British accent Ben is far from charming, and Tina isn’t much better. As the movie progressed, I found myself hoping the monster would appear and eliminate them both!

Though I wasn’t fond of either character, I found Ben more distasteful due to his immature and selfish actions. His treatment of Tina is callous and disrespectful, to the point where I wondered why she gave him the time of day! For example, Ben often does things that he knows will make his girlfriend uncomfortable, such as purposely filming Tina while she is using the restroom or pretending to leave her alone in order to scare her. When she becomes angry (as any reasonable person would), Ben makes no attempt to apologize or change his behavior.

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Tina is almost as frustrating as her boyfriend since she resigns herself to Ben’s childish antics despite her obvious unhappiness with the situation. While it can be difficult to stand up for yourself in such circumstances, Tina’s inaction only enables Ben’s immaturity. Rather than calmly confronting him about the issue, she yells at and/or insults him before acting as though nothing ever happened. Not exactly a recipe for a healthy relationship…

It would be one thing if the film used the couple’s dysfunctional dynamic to enhance the plot, such as in The Shining or Midsommar. However, the obvious friction between the two is largely ignored. Ben remains a man child, and Tina his nagging girlfriend. At least the house is cool!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 India LaPalme

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