- Cruise ship expert Wendy Williams critiques the accuracy of the ship tampering scene in Deep Rising, pointing out the unrealistic scrambling of the ship and the unnecessary use of sonar.
- Williams explains that in real-life situations, cruise ships have multiple communication backups and a smaller number of crew members on the bridge to handle emergencies.
- While Deep Rising initially had a lackluster reception, it has gained a growing fanbase over the years, with its memorable monster design and overall tone being appreciated by viewers.
The 25-year-old cult classic horror movie Deep Rising gets destroyed by cruise ship expert Wendy Williams. Directed by Stephen Sommers, the story tracked a group of mercenaries who board the Argonautica, a high-end ocean liner attacked by a massive, tentacled sea creature. Treat Williams led the cast as Captain John Finnegan, joined by a roster that included Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Jason Flemyng, and Djimon Hounsou. Over the years, Deep Rising‘s following has grown, and the movie’s antagonist, a monster known as the Octalus, remains one of its most memorable features.
In a recent video for Insider, Williams looked at an early scene from Deep Rising and discussed the accuracy of its cruise ship getting tampered with, revealing that a liner would not “scramble” the way it did in the movie. The captain also added that sonar is not necessary, and that ships typically “give a large leave distance” in order to prevent crashes, before rating the sequence a 0 out of 10. Read Williams’ comments regarding Deep Rising below:
Radios, there are so many backups, and if the radios didn’t work, you have satellite phones, all sorts of different types of satellite communication. To be able to scramble a ship like that, no. There’s a lot of people on the bridge. I’m not sure what they’re all doing. Most cruise companies, not saying all of them, they have different terminology, but we would have what’s called green, yellow, and red conditions. Green would be when everything is smooth sailing. Typically, you would have a navigation officer up there, you would have an assistant or a co-navigator, and you would have one or two lookouts. That would be the bridge composition. Our bridges, like, a full red condition, would be captain, staff captain, chief mate or communicator, two lookouts. That’s it. Five. Five of you on the bridge, handling the situation. This particular cruise ship is equipped with sonar, which, I don’t know why you would even need that. You wouldn’t. So, everything is scrambled except for the sonar that’s picking up some, I guess it’s a sea monster in this one. Even though in this particular movie clip, they’re dealing with a sea monster, not to put whales or large mammals into a category of being sea monsters, very unfortunately, there are whale strikes. Cruise ships pay a lot of attention to give a large leave distance and to avoid whales at all costs. Believability from that bridge scene, probably zero.
How Does Deep Rising Hold Up After 25 Years?
During that scene from Deep Rising, an anonymous figure sabotaged the vessel’s navigation system, resulting in panic. Williams noted how the ship’s manipulation was inaccurate though, explaining that there would be “backups” and fewer people on the bridge to handle it. While communication and imaging were down, one crew member revealed that a large shape was moving beneath them, and when it made contact, everyone began getting killed. It’s a memorable sequence, giving audiences an idea of what to expect from the Octalus without showing what the creature actually looked like.
Upon its initial release back in 1998, Deep Rising had an underwhelming box office performance, and received mostly negative reviews from critics. However, the fanbase has grown a lot since, with many audiences praising the casting of Williams, who sadly passed away in June. The special effects might not hold up as well as other films, but the monster’s design, along with its overall tone, are likely two of the main reasons viewers continue to enjoy Deep Rising.
It’s interesting to hear from an actual cruise ship captain how certain elements of the movie are less than realistic, although given the concept, audiences may not be surprised. Deep Rising is often considered underrated when it comes to water-based horror movie, but with its cult classic status, more audiences may be eager to give it a chance, especially heading into the Halloween season.