THE ABYSS (2023) on Netflix is a new disaster movie from Sweden (org. title: Avgrunden). The first act is great with believable characters, but the final act is terrible with the wrong focus. Read our full The Abyss movie review here!

THE ABYSS (2023) is a new Netflix movie from Sweden (org. title: Avgrunden). It’s a disaster movie that focuses on a mine that starts collapsing and threatens to take an entire city with it. It’s essentially an action thriller that has an underlying family drama that tries to take over the plot. And in the final act, this is almost what happens.

Also, there are some red herrings along the way and this is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t like being tricked or even lied to by a filmmaker to create a “plot twist” later. Finally, while a lot of people die in this disaster movie, as it is custom for the subgenre, the people who die in this are too predictable. In all the wrong ways! Yeah, I had issues with it.

Continue reading our The Abyss movie review below. Find it on Netflix from February 16, 2024.

Welcome to mining country

As The Abyss opens, it’s with information about the issues with a collapsing mine. This has already resulted in parts of the city being moved further away, while many buildings and residents remain. Is it safe? For now, yes. Maybe. But that’s all about to change.

Frigga (Tuva Novotny from Annihilation) has a very high-risk job as a security manager in the Kiirunavaara mine. Her family is falling apart as she is divorcing her husband, their daughter hates everything involving the mine, and their son is nowhere to be found. Also, her new lover, Dabir (Kardo Razzazi from The Head) has just shown up in town for a visit.

Then her city starts collapsing into the mine!

When the ground of Kiruna suddenly begins to shake it results in huge cracks appearing in the roads. Sinkholes have also been showing up, so it’s clear by now that Kiruna is finally collapsing into the mine. According to the plot, Frigga must now help get herself and the townspeople out of Kiruna before they are pulled into the abyss.

However, this isn’t really what happens when the final act takes place. And it makes for a terrible ending of The Abyss!

The Abyss (2023) – Review | Netflix Disaster Movie | Avgrunden

Could have been so much better!

When The Abyss began, I loved the style of it and also the characters. Especially Tuva Novotny in the lead as Frigga. The first act just feels almost like an indie movie with flawed characters and realistic interactions between friends, lovers, and family members of all kinds.

The second act starts feeling as uncertain as the ground in this collapsing city. It’s not bad and after 1 hour (of the 1 hour and 43 minute runtime) the actual disaster happens. Until then, smaller collapses in the mine have happened and people have died from the beginning. Still, around the one-hour mark is when the proverbial shit hits the fan!

Then came the third and final act, which changed the focus entirely. And too far away from the huge disaster, it should be about. Instead, it’s personal drama and scenes that feel like copies of a Hollywood blockbuster. Just not a very recent one.

I got angry and disappointed at first, but then – and this is worse – I just lost interest and wanted it to be over.

Watch The Abyss (2023) on Netflix now!

The director of The Abyss is Richard Holm. He is also one of the people getting writing credit for it along with Robin Sherlock Holm and Nicola Sinclair. While The Abyss is making its big debut on Netflix here in 2024, it already premiered in Sweden in 2023, which is why this is the year we keep mentioning.

After all, there’s a certain Oscar-winning 1989 movie by a little-known director named James Cameron of the same title. Of course, the original title is the Swedish Avgrunden. Choosing a different English title would’ve been wise, but it’s far from the biggest problem this movie has.

We’ve seen quite a few disaster movies from Norway of various kinds. From earthquakes to tsunamis and even trolls. However, while they also had character-driven storylines, they never went this far off track from the actual disaster. The Swedish filmmaker behind The Abyss would do well to learn from the Norwegians in this regard.

If we gave half stars, this would get 2½ out of 5. The good production quality and promising start resulted in us ending up giving this movie 3 stars.

The Abyss is on Netflix worldwide [outside Sweden] from February 16, 2024.


Director: Richard Holm
Screenplay: Richard Holm, Robin Sherlock Holm, Nicola Sinclair
Cast: Tuva Novotny, Felicia Maxime Truedsson, Kardo Razzazi, Tintin Poggats Sarri, Peter Franzén, Edvin Ryding


Frigga, who tries to balance her risky job as a security manager in the Kiirunavaara mine with her family life, has to fight for her life and the lives of her loved ones when her city starts collapsing into the mine.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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