Pressure has a fantastic premise; simultaneously out of the ordinary and yet able to conjure chills down anyone’s spine for how relatable the fear is.
Four members of a deep-sea diving crew at the bottom of the ocean are separated from their ship about, and must remain together in the cramped, claustrophobic space at the bottom of the ocean, with no room to move or escape. Terrifying stuff for me, even though I’ve never been near a diving bell.
However, execution is harder than conceptualizing, and even 91 minutes with the crew in what is basically just a couple metres of set makes for a very long, drawn out movie. The cast tries their best, especially Huston, but their dialogue isn’t that amazing, and random dream sequences seem out of place and don’t contribute organically to the film. If all you have is a clash of personalities available to you for your film, you had better make those personalities worth watching. It also has a tendency to swap directly into melodrama, particularly with the voice-over narration at the beginning.
There’s actually rather little that can be said about this movie. Contrast Locke from a couple years ago, a film that was also set in one small (even smaller than this one) space. It had less cast (only one actor), a more mundane premise, and yet somehow managed to generate far more emotional response than Pressure did with so much more.
There’s a way to access this type of movie effectively, and I admire it for trying, but in the end it didn’t really work out that well.