Deep Blue Sea 3 (Horror Movie Review)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

PLOT: A marine biologist and her team of environmentalists get caught up in a search for genetically engineered bull sharks in the area around an abandoned man-made island.

REVIEW: The fact that DEEP BLUE SEA 3 (WATCH IT HERE!) has to follow in the footsteps of DEEP BLUE SEA 2 could be both a benefit and a hindrance. The second film in this franchise was basically just the first movie all over again, made on a substantially lower budget and not nearly as entertaining. Because of that movie, viewers may go into the third with lowered expectations, only to find that it is a major step up from its predecessor. On the other hand, Part 2 was so poorly crafted that it may turn some viewers away from even giving Part 3 a chance – which would be a shame, because DEEP BLUE SEA 3 is actually a fun shark thriller / adventure film. It's not on the level of the original DEEP BLUE SEA, of course, but it's a solid movie in its own right.

DEEP BLUE SEA 2 ended with a small school of genetically engineered, super smart, ravenously hungry sharks getting loose in the ocean. Directed by John Pogue from a screenplay by Dirk Blackman, DEEP BLUE SEA 3 picks up from that ending to find that those sharks are now being pursued by a group of mercenaries – plus shark expert Richard Lowell (Nathaniel Buzolic) – who have been tasked with stopping them. The sharks are heading in the direction of a fishing village called Little Happy, which sits on a man-made island that was built on a coral reef in the Mozambique Channel.

Rising sea levels have forced most residents to abandon Little Happy; the place used to be home to 800 people, but now there are only two permanent residents, along with a group of environmentalists led by marine biologist / shark conservationist Doctor Emma Collins (Tania Raymonde), who happens to have a personal history with Richard, so we can get some personal drama mixed in with the shark hunting and people eating.

Deep Blue Sea 3 John Pogue

Little Happy is a cool setting for this kind of movie, entirely constructed by the crew and built so that parts of it could start to sink as the story plays out. It's quite impressive, even before structures get flooded and sharks start swimming through places. That sort of action comes after some underwater sequences that reminded me a bit of the Marine massacre in ALIENS, with characters using a sonar system to observe the situation from afar, keeping track of the creatures moving around endangered divers.

DEEP BLUE SEA 3 gets more and more fun as it goes along, as the action gets bigger and more exciting. There's plenty of bloodshed, a bunch of explosions, and some likeable characters to carry us through. The actors playing Emma's associates all make positive impressions, while Raymonde does strong work handling the dramatic elements and brings intensity to the thrilling sequences. In the second half of the film, Richard's unscrupulous cohort Lucas (Bren Foster) steps up to become someone viewers will love to hate – and appreciate for bringing some physical altercations into the mix. A showdown between Lucas and Emma's pal Shaw (Emerson Brooks) is one of the highlights.

As most will probably expect, there are some dodgy effects on display in this film, but the situations around them are fun enough that any moments of underwhelming CGI didn't put me off. There are some great moments involving the sharks, including a hilarious character death and even an unnerving scene in which a shark is seen circling one of the most likeable characters.

DEEP BLUE SEA 3 provides 100 minutes of thrills, laughs, and action. It's much better than I thought it would be, and a more well made film than the movie that preceded it in this franchise. If you like shark thrillers but were disappointed by DEEP BLUE SEA 2, don't let that one put you off from checking this one out. 

DEEP BLUE SEA 3 receives a VOD release on July 28th. A DVD and Blu-ray release will follow on August 25th.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.