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Under Pressure: Making 'The Abyss' WORK

The special edition of The Abyss is a far better film than the original theatrical release with a restored subplot that further explores the existence of the NTIs (non-terrestrial intelligence) and their purpose in the film. The relationship between Bud (Ed Harris) and his estranged wife, Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) is also further explored, making the dynamic between them more meaningful. Harris is absolutely perfect in the role of Bud, the intense, head tool pusher of an underwater oil-drilling rig and Mastrantonio is equally convincing as the uptight designer of the rig. Although the special effects may seem hokey by today’s standards, there are some amazing underwater action scenes that were performed by the actors themselves and not by stunt personnel. Look for shots of the principal actors both with and without dive gear in some very complex and dangerous underwater sequences.

Under Pressure: Making 'The Abyss'

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The title text implies that James Cameron has encountered some otherworldly, Lovecraftian being behind the door at the bottom of Challenger Deep; he thought he could access it briefly, however, did not count on its hypnotic or entrancing song, which led to him leaving the door open long enough for it to enter the world and possibly precipitate some horrible calamity. This song is a reference to the sirens of Greek mythology whose singing was irresistible to sailors, who would sail toward them and crash into a rock, wrecking their ships, until Odysseus survived by having his sailors plug their ears and tie him to the mast. The concept is also a reference to the sort of horror fiction popularised by H. P. Lovecraft, often called "cosmic horror", whose stories often contain godlike alien beings that are locked away or hidden in remote places, such as Cthulhu and Azathoth. There is no specific story with a door at the bottom of the ocean containing an entity that sings entrancingly, Randall is making a clever reference to the concepts popularised by this genre as a whole. Pacific Rim, a movie depicting the Earth under the attack of gigantic alien monsters (called Kaiju) emerging from an inter-dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, was released in 2013. 041b061a72


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