Don’t let the stain of a straight-to-digital release fool you into thinking this is yet another example of a mediocre, inferior horror sequel: This is a solid genre entry from beginning to end, a tremendous improvement over 2018’s “Deep Blue Sea 2,” and a direct sequel to the 1999 cult classic that apes much of what made the original so much fun while keeping things fresh and surprisingly exciting in its own right. Admittedly it’s a bit of a shame that the CGI effects are weak due to an obviously limited budget because it does take away from the tension once in a while, but otherwise, everything looks like a million bucks: Director John Pogue’s camera moves fluidly throughout the movie which makes the plot feel all the more urgent, and his dexterous approach also manages to capture an isolated island setting that’s as striking as it is rare in genre cinema, not to mention a number of absolutely gorgeous underwater sequences along the way. Pogue’s use of practical effects also comes into handy when he viscerally shoves the sharks right in the audience’s face, and it also helps that the characters and their dynamics are developed enough that we’re invested in their fate. In the end, “Deep Blue Sea 3” is the type of loving assembled genre sequel that occasionally comes along to remind horror audiences why they hunt for gems hiding in plain sight like this one.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)