Is The Deep House Based on a True Story?

‘The Deep House’ is a claustrophobic mystery horror set in the watery depths of a lake. When a young couple set out to explore a submerged house, they find more than they bargain for when they discover the place was a site for unspeakable crimes. Their presence awakens a dark curse that then traps Ben and Tina inside the house. Panicking and running out of oxygen, the couple fights to keep their sanity even as the house’s sinister residents begin to attack.

The film opens on a relatively skeptical note, where the protagonists explore seemingly haunted places in order to get more views for their online channel. However, when signs of supernatural activity begin to show, Tina and Ben are at a loss for what to do. So just how much of ‘The Deep House’ could actually be true? We decided to find out.

Is The Deep House a True Story?

No, ‘The Deep House’ is not based on a true story. The film is written and directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, with the English screenplay adaptation penned by Julien David and Rachel Parker. Bustillo and Maury are known for their brand of refreshing horror cinema, which generally depicts classic tropes with a new twist. This is also the case with ‘The Deep House,’ in which the director-duo have taken time-honored scares and placed them in a claustrophobic underwater setting.

Known for films like ‘Inside’ (2007), and more recently ‘Kandisha’ (2020), the two directors claim to enjoy brainstorming and trying to create stories that they would like to see as an audience. Both are huge fans of the haunted house genre and enjoy watching underwater sequences. Thus, ‘The Deep House’ arose from an idea to combine the two and make a movie about an underwater haunted house. Their pitch for the film to their producer Clément Miserez was literally four sentences of the aforementioned concept and a photo of a diver, and the project was greenlit.

To keep things as authentic as possible and capture the haunting beauty of being underwater, Bustillo and Maury decided to film underwater instead of using special effects. Therefore, production was a long and complicated affair, with the directors watching on monitors from the surface as scenes were shot underwater. Even simple tasks like repositioning objects around the set turned into processes. However, the complicated filming was essential to achieve their vision of creating an authentic, claustrophobic underwater world.

The film’s ghosts are actually free divers, and according to one of its directors, almost everything seen in the movie was filmed live, without the use of special effects. Hence, the filming process is perhaps the most “real” aspect of the film, which is essentially a fictional tale envisioned by its directors. Of course, real-life examples of submerged towns and villages exist, but the film’s setting is seemingly made-up too. Thus, ‘The Deep House’ is not based on a true story but instead takes inspiration from two separate horror sub-genres, which the directors decided to combine to create an underwater haunted house movie.

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