Deep Water Review: Barely Sizzles

Deep Water is an exhaustingly dull erotic thriller thanks to a lack of chemistry, suspense, and coherence.

The Van Allens have a loveless marriage held together by a precarious arrangement – Vic allows Melinda to have affairs as long as she doesn’t leave her family. Melinda’s new “friend” drowns in the pool during a party. Vic is suspected of murdering her young lover.

Deep Water, adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, is another entry to the infinite list of botched book-to-movie adaptations. The adapted screenplay by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson has no pulse.

The movie revolves around the toxic romance of a sad sack who made a fortune by inventing the microchip for killer drones and a sexpot who flaunts her affairs in front of him. He spends his days biking and taking care of slugs. She spends her days drinking and finding a young sidepiece.

Later on, we learn that Melissa does this on purpose. She just wants to get dicked down, but Vic is too boring to be spontaneous. He’s a weirdo because he doesn’t drink, and his pets are slugs.

As you can imagine, this supposed twisted dynamic that’s supposed to entertain the audience barely makes a sizzle. Neither the characters nor their dysfunctional relationship is fleshed out. At some point, Melinda reveals that the whole family thing was Vic’s idea and questions if a normal relationship would interest him. But none of these are explored.

Instead, the plot meanders through the problematic pair’s shenanigans. Melinda tries to get a rise out of Vic. She visits her sidepiece at work, invites him to dinner, has PDAs at parties, and generally hoeing it up. He watches.

There are erotic scenes in this movie, but there’s no chemistry between Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. The cast performances are not bad, but everyone is stuck with vapor-thin characters.

At some point, Deep Water realizes that it’s a thriller and tacks on a murder. The movie’s attempts at creating tension look silly and unconvincing (fun fact: you need to starve slugs before eating them or their intestines will poison you), and this turn of events to rack some suspense is the same.

In the end, Deep Water tells us that Vic and Melinda have a strange romance that we’re too normal to understand, but none of it is worth the time.

Skip the movie and read the book.

Deep Water


Deep Water is a meandering and boring erotic thriller no thanks to a poorly adapted screenplay and lack of chemistry from its leads.

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