For Stoptober, a slightly lower count of cider reviews seemed appropriate. Do not fear though, there will be many more. Still, variety is the spice of life so I’m excited to bring you this 2017 horror film review called “The Shape of Water”.

The Shape Of Water film review (7/10) – ” A slow burning film, which ignites towards the end, into a heartwarming, yet surprising finish”.

The Good

” Warming relationships as the film continued”.
” Some mystery initially”.
” Lovely conclusion”.
” Well played characters”.

The Bad

” Slow start, and protracted first hour”.
” Unclear context”.
” Limited, early plot complexity”.
” No fear factor”.


The film was set in an area under lockdown. It was clear to see war themes emerge quickly. The danger of this setup typically, is restriction of plot complexity. There is only so much you can do when trapped inside a bedroom cupboard … Philosophy.
It was also a little unclear to me, the background behind the story, as to what lead to the present situation. It therefore took me a while to get into the film. Something I eventually did, more because of good, well played, characters, than the story, or how it was told.

I found the film on a list of good 2017 horror movies, but it seemed more of an action or drama, than a horror. In fact, except for a little early mystery, there was nothing consistent with that genre at all.

For something gripping in the first hour, I wouldn’t recommend this film. Hint: ( You wouldn’t miss much if you fast forwarded 50 minutes). The plot was a very slow burner for this time. Time that could have been better placed setting the scene. Themes of slowly developing relationships, just seemed lethargic.


The variation in character personality was notable. Stark contrasts in motives, and ways of emotional expression, only diversified the well-played cast. Whilst their names were not clearly recognisable to me, all actors eventually provided enough engagement to make me feel part of the story. The first hour plot was so tiresome, it wouldn’t even benefit from Tom cruise.
Whilst variation in characters didn’t emerge till the second hour, when it did, it became quite clear how, and why they were created; To fit the now, more entertaining storyline. By this time, the film quickly began to make sense. Characters you felt pity for, you begin to feel happy for, and things cheer up nicely to a truly heartwarming ending. Maybe part of this enjoyment was from contrast to the earlier dull tone though.

The summary kept me guessing… Having watched up to 1 hour 40, I didn’t see it coming, till quite close to the finish. In fact, I felt the opposite would happen. It not only surprised me, it made me feel happy, and almost regret the film was over. It added to my frustration that the beginning wasn’t more scary, dramatic or descriptive.


Overall the film is worth a watch. The first hour could be halved with the current plot, to 30 minutes. It could also have more background, or fear factor to the story. This isn’t a horror at any point, but at the start if anywhere, it perhaps should be. The second hour becomes truly captivating though. Because of well played characters and a heart warming ending, this helps rescue the viewer from the depths of boredom.

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