You know you're onto a loser when the enormous razor-toothed creature that's big enough to swallow oil rigs - as shown on the poster and DVD cover - turns out to be a normal-sized man in a rubber monster suit.
While drilling under the sea, glowing purple stuff comes out of the borehole. And before you know it, a massive storm starts, resulting in a skeleton crew staying on the rig while all the other personnel (one bloke, from what I can tell) leave for safety. It seems superimposed CGI rain can cause havoc with telecommunications, so the people on the rig are cut off, and left to fight the storm and the previously mentioned man in a fancy dress outfit.
The crew is surprisingly inter-related. The father of the pretty-but-dull young woman is also the rig's boss. His brother is also the big boss on land. And the guy who went ashore also happens to be the brother of another bloke left on the rig. None of these relationships really add much to the story, especially the two brothers subplot which doesn't go anywhere special. The daughter is in a relationship with a bloke who looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo - another relationship which probably could have been edited out without anybody noticing.
An annoying 'practical joker' provides one of the (very few) jump scares, and there are also a couple of fart jokes. So we know it's a classy horror movie. The characters are either annoying, or bland and forgettable. The rig's boss seems particularly unconvincing, and just seems angry most of the time. Another character suddenly changes from unremarkable employee, to a rambo-style, wild-eyed, survivalist.
To be fair the set is impressive and realistic, but then it should be - apparently they used a real oil rig that is now a museum (one of the characters is seen wearing a t-shirt that advertises it). But they do spend an awful lot of time filming the same stretch of corridor again and again. There is a strange use of flashbacks to scenes that have only just been shown. And the music is orchestral and often over-dramatic - more than once I found myself thinking "not those bloody violins again!".
Characters are given very little development, and to be honest, a lot of them are quite forgettable anyway. I don't think I felt any emotion when any of the people were killed. The external scenes are shot reasonably well, making good use of the industrial architecture, strong light and shadows. But overall there is a lack of tension, and some of the key sequences at the climax of the film are over-long and verging on boring.
I don't know if this was a made-for-TV movie, but it certainly has that feel about it. (At least the commercial breaks would have broken up the tedium.) I found it a struggle to sit through, especially towards the end. The characters were mostly too dull (or annoying) for me to care about. It was almost impossible to take the monster seriously once I'd realised it was a man in a suit. And overall there was nothing new or interesting on offer here. Sadly it wasn't even bad in a fun way, which would have at least been entertaining. 0.5/5
* This is one of two articles written for The Moon Is A Dead World's "Viewer Vomit" challenge - featuring reviews from different writers about the same film. Check out what they, and other reviewers, have said about The Rig HERE.