Again this has taken some pondering. For one thing, what counts as underrated? Is it a film that is regarded as quite terrible when actually it’s ok but nothing special? Or is it a film that everyone ignores when really it deserves to be noticed? If you ask me, both definitions count but maybe I’m just mental.
I’m going to go with the latter definition and pick Swimming With Sharks, a film about a Hollywood studio assistant who is treated so appallingly by his boss that he turns a bit unhinged, kidnaps his boss and does nasty things to him. It stars Kevin Spacey, always an excellent actor to watch, and it’s fantastic. He’s an unspeakably horrible boss of course, think The Devil Wears Prada yet somehow worse. However you keep watching just to see what happens next. It’s tense and a little horrific to watch with one particularly memorable and nasty paper cut based torture scene.
Swimming With Sharks somehow never gets the widespread accolade it deserves. Of course Spacey fans know all about it but I think the masses overlooked it instead focusing on Spacey’s fantastic turns in The Usual Suspects, Seven and American Beauty. Fair enough really, they are all brilliant. Swimming With Sharks was clearly done on the cheap with no other big names to be seen which no doubt stopped the average cinemagoer going near it.
Bizarrely I don’t own Swimming With Sharks on DVD and just have a humble VHS copy. I really do need to rectify that soon. It’s been too long since I saw it last.