24. The Abyss
Original Release — August 9, 1989
Plenty of sci-fi contends with our journeys among the stars and the wonders and horrors that lurk out in the murky distance — but in the field of science and our knowledge, we know more about the surface of our moon than our own ocean floor. James Cameron uses the anxiety of ignorance to full effect when a crew of deep-sea drillers encounter the bioluminescent wonders of alien life. But for every film that features hostile alien invaders, there is one like The Abyss — it is typically our own human follies that are truly dangerous.
The isolation and paranoia of becoming stuck underwater after a storm leaves the crew stranded and attempting to work with the NAVY Seals that used their rig as a base. As the oxygen continues to run out, tensions run high — and mysterious yet beautiful lights continue to surround them. Despite featuring incredible underwater sequences with nail-biting tension, it’s refreshing to see a storyteller as conflict-driven as Cameron give his underwater aliens an almost angelic treatment.
Image Source: IMDb