Sunday, May 29, 2022

Nightmares of A Damaged Fireman's Brain: The Deepening (2006)

The Deepening (2006)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Jim O'Rear, Gunnar Hansen and Debbie Rochon

Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after working on the tragic terrorist attack of 9-11, New York fireman Ted (Ted Alderman) relocates to a quiet rural town's fire department in hopes of getting a fresh start. He doesn't get the warmest of welcomes from most of the small station's firefighting squad, however, as small town mentality have them feeling suspicious of his move and they'll grab every opportunity to antagonize the newcomer.

The only one who has Ted's back is Jim (Jim O’Rear), who opted to give the new guy a shot of being his friend and invites him to pick up a pair of ladies who are looking to score. Ted and Jim does exactly that one night, which ends very messily when Ted is found covered in blood and his date dead. From that little incident, trouble seems to follow Ted and Jim everywhere as those who has anything to do with the two starts getting offed by someone in full firefighter gear. As the deaths continue and the local cops proceed to pin the crimes on them, it's up to the duo to figure out who's behind this massacre and put a stop to them before it's all too late.

To address the elephant in the room, I will say that the fact this film tries to connect its Z-grade slasher killings to the traumas of the 9-11 attacks is very much tastelessly troubling on its own. The film could have simply used any generic tragedies in its place for the kind of plot its doing, but The Deepening (2006) choose to exploit this real life horror show directly as a form of red herring to the supposed mystery behind the killer's identity and, given how mishandled the whole thing is, the end result feels more like shameless shock value and quite unnecessary to begin with. It's the only thing that keeps me from liking this film any higher, which is quite the shame as the film does have some low-brow charm to it.

What we have here is best described as your run-in-the-mill 2000s shot-on-video slasher effort that checks all the boxes of what you would expect from a cheap production; low-tier quality video and audio, shoddy acting and scripting, laughable editing and a clunky direction. It's mediocre from start to finish, but I cannot help but somewhat enjoy the mess just for the fact that it does try to put some edge and story within the dreck, especially if most of the attempts come off unintentionally hilarious for its bad takes, as well as intriguing for its bad taste. I dig the ironic concept of a killer firefighter and I love that, while the effects done for the kills are cheap, they're handled very effectively and creatively budget-wise. The flow does take a while to get going, but once the killings got their momentum, the plot goes into cheesier territories which is always a saving grace on my book, especially if it involves Hardy Boys amateur sleuthing and the villain throwing Freddy Krueger-esque bad lines with exaggerated gruffness for flavor.  

Fans of horror star cameos can find Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, as Dr. Chambers here, as well as Debbie Rochon and her boobs. Again, not an entirely bad do-it-yourself horror cheapie. The Deepening (2006) echoes the likes of the hammy late-80s releases, just tainted with an unneeded and unsavory choice of unearthing one of America's most notorious events for "plot device". Shame.

1 male had his arm chopped off with an axe, killed
1 female hacked with an axe
1 female killed offscreen
1 female stabbed in the gut with a pipe pole
1 male had his throat cut with a knife (dream)
1 male gets a fire engine hose shoved into his mouth, head blown open with water pressure
1 female hacked with an axe
1 male found disemboweled
1 male shot through the neck with a shot arrow
1 male gets a thrown dagger to the chest
1 male repeatedly shot
1 female attacked with an axe, presumably killed
Total: 12


  1. At least 9/11 had plot relevance here, which is more than I can say for Murder-Set-Pieces, which just threw actual footage of it in for no discernable reason...

    1. Y'know, I knew there's a reason why I never bothered with that title. The plot itself sounds too chaotic even for me...