Movie Review: Under Paris (Gens, 2024)

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Movie: Under Paris
Production Company: Let Me Be
Director: Xavier Gens

Producer: Sebastien Auscher

Scriptwriters: Sebastien Auscher, Yannick Dahan, Xavier Gens, Maud Heywang
Main Cast: Berenice Bejo, Nassim Lyes, Lea Leviant

Release Date: June 5th 2024
Running Time: 90 minutes
Certificate: 15


Now hear us out, what if Jaws went on a French holiday? Whilst this is a fairly reductive description of Under Paris, it is destined to be one of those films. You know which has some very good scary scenes which Screen Rant has inevitably called the scariest films of the year. Anyway, despite trying to emulate Meg 2: The Trench with its messaging, unfortunately none of the silly wackiness in that film effectively translates. However, when Under Paris is good some of the tension it builds up is great. Now without further ado, here is our review of the film.


Under Paris follows a French environmental scientist, Sophia (Bojo), as she comes to realise that the same mako shark she and a team tracked 3 years ago in the Atlantic has swam up the River Seine in Paris. In her attempt to corral the shark out of the River before the World Triathlon Championship, she strikes up a partnership with police officer, Adil (Lyes), and his team to clear the shark before it can turn the Seine into its personal chum bucket.


Tension Building in Under Paris

Now whilst the majority of Under Paris falls under the daft category of shark films, especially the scene where police officers accidentally set off unexploded bombs in the midst of emptying the entirety of Paris’s magazines into the Seine, the parts which do build up tension are pretty damn good. Take for example, the scene where the police first dive into the Seine to find the shark. Here, there’s a lot of close ups and cutaways between the divers in the water and Sophia and Adil on the surface to build up the tension for a possible shark attack.

However, it’s when the sharks tracker goes offline, that the tension starts to kick in. Mostly because all three of the divers are just far enough away from the main cast that plot armour might not apply to them. Also, just look at the end of the film where the shark starts going mental on swimmers. This is gloriously shot with birdseye shots and long shots which show the carnage that Jaws is causing on his French holiday.

Subtexts in Under Paris

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for anything below the surface of Under Paris you will need to watch another film. Take the environmental subtext at the beginning of the film which then gets jumped to bring us Jaws in Paris. Now don’t get us wrong, this subtext would have been forgotten regardless just because of how entertaining the shark sequences are but it would have been nice to get something in regards to this subtext other than some lazy exposition.

Also, another thing which quickly goes out the window is sensible ways of dealing with the shark as instead whilst it would have been very silly surely just blocking off escape routes to force the shark out would have been safer than blowing up and unintentionally flooding the entire city. But then again, sometimes we just need to see things go boom for the sake of it rather than anything else. Although that ending feels weird as it feels like sequel bait for a film which doesn’t really need one despite the fact sharks now seem to run Paris. 


To summarise Under Paris, this is a daft and silly attempt at a shark horror film by just plopping Jaws into the River Seine and asking questions later. Whilst the subplots get jumped, unlike any sharks, there are some good tense scenes which will inevitably will fade away amongst the many, many scenes of Jaws enjoying French Cuisine. And fin…..

Overall Rating: 5/10 – Average
Target Audience:
Content Warning:
Moderate Violence and Gore, Mild Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes.