3 Movies Like The Abyss (2023)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching The Abyss ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Not to be confused with James Cameron’s 1989 film, The Abyss isn’t the worst disaster film, but it could have been so much more. Inspired by the earthquake that actually happened in the real life town of Kiruna, there’s an important story here about worker safety, responsible mining, improving emergency protocols, and preserving the environment. However, like plenty of disaster movies, the film plays out in the most predictable ways, attaching a frankly irrelevant family drama that takes time away from the terrifying, claustrophobic nightmare that could have been. It does have decent effects, and even some decent scenes, but The Abyss is more interested in using the real life earthquake to manufacture drama, rather than actually looking into the manmade disaster.

Besides the futuristic tech that pops in and out, there’s not a lot about The Kitchen that signals it as a sci-fi film. Neglected housing projects and violent raids have become too common to count as dystopian, so it often feels like The Kitchen could’ve gone without labeling itself as part of the genre (the real world is bad enough). But underneath those layers is a subtle but sublimely tender story about father and son finding each other amid the rubble of real life. First-time directors Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, The Black Panther) and Kibwe Tavares delicately balance the personal and the political, never undermining the former as many socially aware films do. If Kaluuya and Tavares had fleshed the world it built a little more and removed the parts, such as the sci-fi elements, that did not work out, then Izi and Benji’s story would have been memorably devastating, instead of just affecting.

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: BACKROAD GEE, Cristale, Dani Moseley, Demmy Ladipo, Ewart James Walters, Fiona Marr, Henry Lawfull, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, Ian Wright, Jedaiah Bannerman, Kane Robinson, Karen Williams, Lola-Rose Maxwell, Neville Watson, Rasaq Kukoyi, Rhys Yates

Director: Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares

Rating: R

The story of how Dave Kroupa excitedly joined online dating sites only to meet a murderous stalker is both distressing and fascinating. You feel for the guy and wonder how a person could commit such heinous crimes. That in itself is a feat: to be genuinely shocked despite the prevalence of true crime documentaries. But Lover, Stalker, Killer takes way too long to get to the point. For a good chunk of the documentary, you’re left wondering how the pieces will fall into place, all while the interviewees are hyping it up to be something truly horrific as if it were a movie or a game, and not an actually traumatic moment that forever altered the course of Kroupa and his family’s life. It’s good that we get a first-hand account of the case from Kroupa himself because otherwise, this would be another case of desensitized, sensationalized fare. The central story is interesting to be sure, but a lack of technical flare and in-depth questioning makes it, overall, flimsy and overlong.

Genre: Crime, Documentary

Actor: Cari Farver, Chris Maher, Dave Kroupa, Ryan Avis

Director: Sam Hobkinson

Rating: R

The Beautiful Game starts off with a hilarious, brilliantly written opening sequence that should have set the tone for the film. Then almost immediately, we're met with some shoddy writing, and in a strange way, that is what sets the tone for the film, instead. This film presents the story of the Homeless World Cup and how it empowers those who feel they have no direction, and so naturally we want to feel their triumph. But the film seems to want to cross over the jovial and wholesome line and deeper into the characters' struggles, and while some characters only need a glimpse of it, it generally comes across like a jarring lack of commitment. The film isn't carrying home any writing gold, but it's not really about winning, is it?

Genre: Drama

Actor: Anna Maria Everett, Aoi Okuyama, Bill Nighy, Callum Scott Howells, Colin Azzopardi, Cristina Rodlo, Daniel Attwell, Gabriel Akuwudike, James McNicholas, Jessye Romeo, Kazuhiro Muroyama, Kit Young, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Massimo Scola, Micheal Ward, Robin Nazari, Shane Casey, Sheyi Cole, Sian Reese-Williams, Susan Wokoma, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Valeria Golino

Director: Thea Sharrock

Rating: PG-13