12 Feet Deep just might make you fear public pools


1428 Elm was able to snag an early screening of Matt Eskandari’s new thriller 12 Feet Deep and we’ve got the official film review!

Horror and thriller movies set in the water have been having a bit of a resurgence as of late. The Shallows recently hit blu-ray and 47 Meters Down is in theaters as of today. Certainly, these shark-themed flicks may make you think twice about going for a dive in the ocean.

“I’ll just go to an indoor pool,” you may say to yourself. Surely, nothing could go wrong there, right? But just imagine what it would be like if you dove in… and then you couldn’t get out?

That’s the situation for sisters Bree (Nora-Jane Noone) and Jonna (Alexandra Park) in the new film 12 Feet Deep. Bad luck strikes the pair at the worst possible time when they go for a swim in an Olympic-sized public pool. After they wind up unwittingly trapped inside the pool underneath its large fiberglass cover, the girls realize it might become their watery grave.

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To make matters worse, the establishment has closed for an extended holiday. They’re not going to be able to wait out the entire holiday weekend. And it gets even worse than that… one of the girls is a diabetic, and without her insulin shot, she could slip into a coma and die. As if their situation wasn’t dire enough.

Salvation seems to arrive when the night janitor Clara (Diane Farr) comes across the two sisters. But it seems she might have more to gain by leaving them inside. Truly, these girls are on their own, and if they want to escape, they’ll need to both confront their past demons and work together.

What’s so unique about this film is its original setting. I’ve seen plenty of movies about being lost at sea or stuck in shark-infested waters. But this is the first flick I’ve seen setting the whole film in a public pool. Eskandari took a big risk by setting the entire film in one location, as keeping the story interesting there for 90 minutes would be incredibly challenging.

But it can clearly be done, as Eskandari has proven. You just need a strong, compelling story with equally amazing acting talent. Noone and Park had the responsibility of bringing this unique plot to life, and truly, they’re both incredible in this film — my heart was just breaking for these girls. They also had a great script to work with, as both characters have many layers to them which we learn through the course of the movie.

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Since my early screening of this film, I have gone to a public pool. Upon jumping in the water, my very first thoughts were about Bree and Jonna from 12 Feet Deep. Throughout my swim, I kept having flashbacks of the film, recalling the pure horror those girls must have felt. The movie has apparently stuck with me, and given how many flicks I watch, it’s always impressive when any film manages to do that. So will I always be reminded of these girls’ plight whenever I take a dip?

Damn you, Matt Eskandari. You just ruined my summer.

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12 Feet Deep will be available on all VOD platforms on June 20, 2017. I highly encourage all of you to check it out. And whatever you do, never go swimming in an indoor public pool close to closing time!