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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Review: The Superdeep

Director: Arseny Syuhin

Screenplay: Arseny Syuhin

Year: 2021

A group of researchers is going to take samples at an underground scientific facility. This facility houses the deepest hole dug by humans, which holds a dangerous secret. What the scientists find in that place turns out to be the greatest threat to humanity, and its future is in their hands.

By 1970, the Soviet Union began drilling a hole in the ground in Siberia that a few years later would become the deepest hole dug by humans. The excavation ended in 1992 because temperature conditions (180oC) and other factors did not allow digging to continue without damaging the equipment. From this experiment, an urban legend is also born that tells that a group of Soviet engineers dug a hole so deep that they reached hell, reporting temperatures over 1,000oC and recorded the sounds of tortured souls.

Under the urban legend of having reached hell with the hole, the director and screenwriter Arseny Syuhin developed the plot of “The Superdeep”, the new exclusive film from Shudder, achieving an impressive debut in both roles. During the film, we follow Anya (Milena Radulovic), an epidemiologist who has been assigned to take biological samples in an underground laboratory located 12 kilometers from the surface. The offer seems too good to be true, but upon arriving at the place, Anya begins to suspect something sinister is going on in the place.

Syuhin wastes no time taking out his heavy artillery, and since Anya arrives near the facility, he gives us a good look at what lies ahead. An unexpected and violent event exposes one of the greatest qualities of this film: its special effects and great cinematography. Especially the practical effects stand out, reminiscent of classics of body horror like "The Thing", but whose infernal style reminded me more of "The Void".

This film's greatest weakness lies in its plot and pace. The plot has some holes in its development that can be both a problem of the script or of cultural context. Also, in some parts, the development feels somewhat rushed and can become confusing. However, these issues are minimal and only marginally affect the enjoyment of the movie. 

"The Superdeep" is a Shudder-exclusive Russian body horror film based on the myth of a scientific dig that got so deep that it carved a hole into hell. The way he presents his version of the myth is striking, and the way he visualizes what was found in these depths is fuel for nightmares. The excellent work with the practical effects is the icing on the cake that accentuates the infernal and apocalyptic sense that it carries effectively.

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