Sunday, December 15, 2013

Amphibious Creature Of The Deep, Netherlands and Indonesia Tag Team for This Horror

I am a softy for good sea monster flicks.  Originally shot in 3D (Yes!!!) and titled "Amphibious 3D," "Amphibious Creature of the Deep" takes a horrifying insect (scorpion) and casts it as a sea beast.  This 2010 movie delivers one of the creepiest final acts you will ever see.  Adding to the creepiness are the plights of two of the protagonists, which we will discuss soon.
The plot:  Set largely in the open ocean near Indonesia. smugglers have set up a fishing platform.  These smugglers are really evil and use child-slave labor to do much of the dangerous grunt work.  Tamal is one such child laborer who was sold to the smugglers by his uncle.  Enter Skylar Shane (I love that name) played by the Dutch actress Janna Fassaert.  What would a sci-fi sea monster movie be without a beautiful marine biologist?  Haunted by the death of her daughter, she heads to the Sumatran Sea to find prehistoric life forms (we all mourn differently, so please do not judge).  She hires a shady boat captain, played by Michael Pare, who can't seem to navigate around this smugglers' platform despite the millions of square miles in this ocean.
War develops as the smugglers don't take kindly to Skylar's desire to remove Tamal from their evil clutches.  Skylar would seem no match for these brutes, but for the fact Tamal has some weird psychic connection to a scorpion beast dwelling under the platform.  This beast starts picking off smugglers in gory fury.  Uh oh!  Tamal and the creature seem to be mind melding (kinda like something Mr. Spock would do).  Is the creature becoming Tamal, or is Tamal becoming the creature?  I won't give away the end, but it is nightmarish, and could keep you awake at night.
This movie could have been a lot less and still satisfying.  The decision to focus on the haunting plights of the two main characters and not sacrifice creature scenes, was done brilliantly.  Janna Fassaert is terrific as a beautiful, sad, idealistic, and ambitious soul wrestling with the horrible memories of losing her daughter.  Michael Pare, as the boat captain, is terrific.  The creature is scary.  The gore is plentiful.  What is there not to like?
Good sea monster movies are hard to find of late.  I would put this one just ahead of "Pacific Rim" on my ratings scale.  In a movie which most will see on DVD, one has to give lots of credit to the makers for delivering a deep and creepy film.

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