Deep Water Flails About in the Shallow End

The Stream: Predictable and anticlimactic twists

The Big Screen: Lusty with some humor sprinkled in

The Final Bill: A slow burn that fails to catch fire

– Trip Fontaine
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writers: Zach Helm and Sam Levinson based upon the novel by Patricia Highsmith
Stars: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Dash Mihok and Lil Rel Howery
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, language and some violence
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
Production Companies: 20th Century Studios, Amazon Studios, Entertainment 360, New Regency Productions
Platform: Hulu

What’s up, Streamers! These movies just keep coming fast and furious like those sequels and spin-offs. It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? The streaming services seem to drop multiple new titles weekly. Anyway, we are catching up with Deep Water, the so-called erotic thriller from erotic thriller master director, Adrian Lyne, and starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. There’s been a lot of chatter about the salaciousness of this one – mostly because of that failed Affleck-de Armas relationship, but who doesn’t like a good erotic thriller. Here’s how hot and bothered Deep Water got us.

Deep Water follows the story of Vic and Melinda Van Allen (Affleck and de Armas), a socialite couple in a small town, who have an unconventional marriage. Vic and Melinda seem to have an understanding whereby Melinda has lovers outside of the marriage and Vic accepts her philandering in order to keep the marriage intact. Vic isn’t entirely satisfied with the arrangement and tries to discourage Melinda’s boyfriends from continuing their trysts. When one of Melinda’s former lovers goes missing, Vic threatens Melinda’s new boy toy by claiming to have killed the former boyfriend. The arrangement becomes untenable as Melinda’s escapades become more public, the community begins talking about the Van Allen’s and the missing boyfriends, and Vic’s jealousy bubbles over. Sexy hijinks ensue.

An erotic thriller needs two things to work: sexiness and thrills. Deep Water is lacking in both areas, unfortunately. First, Affleck and de Armas are a good-looking couple. Although there are some sexy moments, the movie doesn’t sell what it has advertised. There are moments here and there between Affleck and de Armas and some with de Armas and the other boyfriends, but hardly enough to justify the “erotic” thriller label – nothing truly memorable. On the issue of thrills, I blame the writing for this because the game is given away pretty early. Affleck is brooding around corners, he’s saying obvious and threatening things, and the air is let out of any tension there could be. While Affleck is good at being menacing, the performance and the screenplay dilute whatever intrigue there could have been.

On the other hand, there are some hilarious things that occur throughout. Erotic thrillers can veer into some campiness. Deep Water veers there. I’m just going to say two things: snails and Tracy Letts. You have to see it to believe it. It doesn’t make sense, but it does become comical.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, Deep Water is a predictable movie that doesn’t provide the sexiness or thrills that should overflow in an erotic thriller. The movie has very few sexy moments and there are some laughs to be had, but the story doesn’t really make any sense. Nevertheless, you might watch this one if you 2 hours to kill, so get your handful of popcorn and dive in.