You need to watch the most eye-opening sci-fi thriller on Netflix ASAP
“You must not fall asleep. Ever.”
Science fiction and teenagers go hand in hand. They’re about transitioning, in one aspect, from child to adult. In another sense, both explore what it means to take a leap of faith into the unknown. Whether it’s a nasty bout of acne or even space exploration, who knows what the future holds?
This brand-new Netflix movie gives these themes associated with sci-fi and teenagers equal footing, making for a dual-wielding sci-fi thriller that shows an eye for creative filmmaking.
Deep is a 2021 Thai sci-fi movie, written and directed by students at Bangkok University. This youthful influence is evident throughout the movie, which follows four insomniac medical students from all different walks of life. They enroll in a groundbreaking new sleep study called Deep that will keep them awake for hours at end in order to collect qratonin. It’s a fictional chemical that essentially acts as the opposite of melatonin, keeping the four students awake no matter how hard they try to sleep.
The de facto leader of the four is Jane, who doesn’t sleep but maxes out her time studying, taking care of her sister June and her grandmother, and running a shop. There’s also Win, a party boy, Cin, a wannabe beauty vlogger who resents her parents for making her study medicine, and Peach, a gamer who wants money to upgrade his setup.
The group names themselves “Non non,” as “non” is the Thai word for sleep. They keep each other up through activities, partying, and basically anything they can think of to stay awake. It’s a life-saving practice because if any of them fall asleep for more than 60 seconds, the chip implanted in the back of their necks will malfunction and stop their heart.
After barely completing the second round of Deep for a hefty cash reward, they swear never to do it again. But after a loved one gets involved, they have no option but to go for the third, most dangerous level of Deep, and along the way, they discover its true chilling purpose.
The best thing about Deep is how much the filmmakers’ youth shines through. These teenagers don’t come across as inauthentic or parodical. They deal with real-life problems, and the characters have their own secrets and tragic backstories. They speak in Thai, of course, but it’s clear to any audience member that they sound like teenagers.
The film’s influences aren’t just limited to the plot and dialogue. The cinematography of Deep is reminiscent of Edgar Wright movies, utilizing fast-moving montages, text overlays on screen, and non-diegetic moments to give the movie a unique feel and further confuse the hallucinations the characters experience.
Deep feels like a fever dream, but in this case, that’s perfectly suited to the story.
Deep is now streaming on Netflix.