It has to be said that the presence of Jason Mewes in any movie that doesn’t have Kevin Smith in the director’s chair is not something to look forward to. I like Mewes, I really do, but I’ve heard nothing but horrible words about his work outside of the View Askewniverse (with the exception of his small role in the highly enjoyable Feast). On the strength of just how bad The Watermen is, I’m going to have to agree with the negative opinions.
I know that you’re going to think I’m exaggerating and you’re going to roll your eyes while thinking about the many dubious movies that I’ve ended up enjoying but I can assure you that I am speaking the truth when I tell you that The Watermen is one of the worst chillers that I’ve seen in quite some time. The fact that it managed to get a couple of decent names roped in (Mewes and Richard Riehle) and would appear to have a budget that someone with talent could actually create something great with just makes me even angrier.
The plot is, of course, hugely derivative (which isn’t a major crime in the world of cinema, let alone the world of horror, but when it’s all dealt with so lazily it’s hard to let it slide) and will actually remind many horror fans of the far superior Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre. A group of pretty young things head out for some deep-sea fishing and find themselves, one damaged engine later, stuck out in the middle of the ocean. Then along come the titular watermen. To save them? Highly doubtful.
If I’m being charitable, which I try to be, then I should say that the acting isn’t the worst. To be fair, Jason Mewes and Richard Riehle are always people I can watch onscreen (no matter how bad the movie is) while Luke Guldan, Joy Glass, Tara Heston, Tyler Johnson, Ashley Myers, Floyd Abel, Scott Davis and the other cast members do okay. Well, they try to work with what they have, I suppose. It’s just a shame that what they have is complete rubbish.
Some fleeting nudity aside (hey, if there are no other redeeming features then I’m more than happy to settle for the lowest common denominator), there is absolutely nothing of interest here. Matt L. Lockhart both wrote and directed the movie and so he gets to take all of the blame for this mess. Characters that you don’t care about in the slightest, godawful dialogue, moments of nastiness and gore that cop out when they could at least liven things up for a minute or two, etc, etc. Everything about this movie, from the mind-numbing predictability of it all to the complete lack of tension, is fumbled to create something that’s a real struggle to get through from beginning to end.
Sadly, this is the kind of movie that easily gives the horror genre a bad name. Do what you can by ensuring that you avoid this one, and help others avoid it too.
The Watermen tries to make a splash on DVD on the 23rd April. I’d advise not even dipping your toe in these waters.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: MATT L. LOCKHART
STARS: JASON MEWES, RICHARD RIEHLE, LUKE GULDAN, JOY GLASS, TARA HESTON, TYLER JOHNSON, ASHLEY MYERS, FLOYD ABEL, SCOTT DAVIS
RUNTIME: 94 MINS APPROX