Earlier today, we saw a short that caught Guillermo del Toro’s eye and became a major motion picture. With The Underwater Realm, we have a series of shorts that clearly hopes to do likewise.
Loosely based around the concept of an Atlantis that reveals itself periodically to humans throughout history, it comes off as a mostly successful attempt to prove that the filmmakers, led my director David M. Reynolds, can handle any genre, from aerial combat movie to period naval adventure to modern-day found-footage horror. It mostly works, although in the fourth short, when a character shows up looking like Ben Stiller in a cheap Avatar costume, I couldn’t quite take it as seriously as I should.
It is impressive, however, that the shorts actually were shot underwater, with everyone in the cast holding their breaths for epic lengths of time (I was guessing they faked it on a soundstage a la Marv in Sin City, but not so). Technically, this is an impressive feat. Do these folks have as good a sense of storytelling? That I don’t yet know.
See for yourself here: