Under Paris review: This shark thriller is surprisingly fun

Set against the backdrop of the French capital, Under Paris is a horror thriller that follows seasoned diver Sophia Assalas.

The plot sees her confront a monstrous shark in the city’s iconic Seine River, just as Paris prepares to host a high-stakes triathlon.

It is not streaming on Netflix.


Under Paris opens with an expedition in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch led by Sophia Assalas and her husband, Chris.

Their team discovers the gruesome sight of a baby sperm whale caught in a net, its stomach full of plastic.

Amid this investigation, they encounter Lilith, a tagged mako shark exhibiting extraordinary growth and aggression.

Tragedy strikes when Chris is killed in an attack by Lilith, leaving Sophia traumatized.

Three years later, Sophia works at an aquarium in Paris, still haunted by the past.

She is approached by Mika, a young activist from the group SOS (Save Our Seas), who reveals that Lilith has migrated to the Seine River.

As a triathlon event approaches, the presence of the shark becomes a critical threat.

Sophia, alongside Sergeant Adil Faez, attempts to address the danger while the city’s mayor, focused on the triathlon’s success, resists canceling the event.

Tensions escalate when Mika’s broadcast on social media brings public attention to the shark, complicating efforts to capture it.


Bérénice Bejo delivers a formidable performance as Sophia, effectively portraying a character torn between duty and personal trauma.

Nassim Lyes, as Sergeant Adil Faez, provides a solid counterpart, balancing skepticism and resolve.

The supporting cast, including Anne Marivin as the pragmatic mayor, adds depth to the narrative, though some characters fall into predictable archetypes.


Under Paris excels in its visual storytelling, with director Xavier Gens and cinematographer Nicolas Massart creating memorable and intense scenes.

The opening sequence in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch sets a grim tone, while the underwater and catacomb scenes are genuinely terrifying.

The film’s environmental message, though not subtle, adds a layer of relevance to the otherwise fantastical plot.

Gens wisely minimizes the shark’s screen time, heightening suspense and impact when Lilith does appear.

Furthermore, the CGI on the sharks is top notch.


The film occasionally struggles with pacing, particularly in the middle act where exposition slows down the action.

Some plot elements, like the shark’s improbable journey to Paris and its ability to thrive in freshwater, require significant suspension of disbelief.

The character development outside of Sophia feels undercooked, with secondary characters serving more as plot devices than fully fleshed-out individuals.

Additionally, the film’s climax, while thrilling, borders on the absurd with its chaotic and exaggerated destruction.


Under Paris is an entertaining and ambitious entry into the shark thriller genre.

Its blend of suspense, action, and environmental commentary makes for a compelling watch, despite some narrative and pacing issues.

Under Paris
Under Paris review: This shark thriller is surprisingly fun 1

Director: Xavier Gens

Date Created: 2024-06-06 13:59

Editor's Rating:

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