Deep Water reviews are in – and everyone is obsessed with the snails. Yep, you read that right.
The erotic thriller, which stars Ben Affleck opposite Ana de Armas, see Affleck’s Vic keep pet snails, and while the plot (sadly) doesn’t revolve around the slimy little guys, they’re all anyone can talk about. The film, directed by Adrian Lyne, sees de Armas’ Melinda engaging in some extra-marital dalliances that turn deadly.
“I was not prepared for Deep Water to have more sexual tension between Ben Affleck and his pet snails than with Ana de Armas,” says writer Anna Bogutskaya (opens in new tab), while Darren Franich writes for Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab): “Vic has pet snails – and gang, this man really cares about his snails.”
“Someone named a character Trixie in 2022,” says IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez. “Said child was hilarious in how often I thought she was a murderer. ‘Get inside, Goldie’ & ‘the snails are not for eating’ are in my lexicon. Everything Ana de Armas does is funny as hell. Go watch!”
Oli Welsh’s review for Polygon (opens in new tab) goes into more depth on the creatures: “[Vic] only comes fully to life when talking to Trixie or when gazing in humid adoration at his snails, scenes which Lyne and cinematographer Eigil Bryld shoot with an alien glow. (The snails are a wonderfully weird and unsettling touch of Highsmith’s; Lyne has said that the studio was eager to cut them, but he rightly insisted on keeping them in.)”
Mike Ryan, writing for Uproxx (opens in new tab), also has some tantalizing extra details on the snails. “Yes, for some reason Vic has a snail collection. I assumed there would be a payoff. As far as I could tell there wasn’t. Also, it looks like it’s very difficult to keep a snail farm inside a home. (Fun fact, my editor, who is editing this piece, lives a block from the house where this was filmed. He said there was a truck filled with snails parked outside.)”
The snails might have a meta quality, too. “Those listless snails that Vic raises in a shed in his yard are as good a metaphor for this movie as any, crawling with painful sluggishness across Vic’s fingers and not going anywhere in particular,” writes Don Kaye in Den of Geek’s (opens in new tab) review.
David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), though, is a little less convinced. “Having retired young after developing a chip used in drone warfare, [Vic] skulks around at home or spends time in a hothouse out back fingering the snails he breeds for visually symbolic purposes I don’t even want to contemplate.”
But it seems the snails don’t really get the spotlight in the end. “Intense emotional reactions from characters have no repercussions, missing people just remain missing, even the damn snails don’t get their moment to slime!” laments Tara Bennett for IGN (opens in new tab).
So, there you have it. Deep Water: come for Affleck and de Armas, stay for the snails.
The film is streaming on Hulu in the US and Prime Video internationally now. If you’re all caught up, check out our guide to the best movies on Amazon Prime to fill out your watchlist.