12 Feet Deep’s true story — The film’s real-life influences

12 Feet Deep

Unfortunately, the indie psychological horror film 12 Feet Deep flew under the radar due to the release of Wonder Woman. However, due to the emergence of streaming, films that flopped at the box office can enjoy a renaissance years later. 12 Feet Deep is one of those films. 

In the movie, two sisters, Jonna and Bree, who often squabble, get trapped under the fiberglass cover of a public swimming pool. The janitor discovers the pair but refuses to help them. To make the situation more precarious, Bree reveals she was diagnosed with diabetes when Jonna was in rehab; if Bree doesn’t get her medication soon, she’ll slip into a coma. 

The film is based on a compilation of true stories and the writers’ imaginations

Matt Eskandari, director of 12 Feet Deep, told 1428 Elm that the movie was based on an amalgamation of true stories and the writers’ imaginations. 

Eskandari said he and co-writer Mike Hultquist looked for real-life stories resembling the film’s plot. He said the writers based the film on a combination of true stories rather than one narrative. Matt said:

“My co-writer Mike and I researched several different accounts of stories where something similar took place. A teen girl in Australia recently died in a similar fashion, but it ended up being more an amalgamation than any single story.”

Matt said the rest of the plot came from the writers’ imaginations. He explained that his fear of water bodies played a significant role in the story. Matt explained:

“Pools and oceans all trigger a bona fide sense of dread for me. Just the whole idea of being trapped in a pool makes me sweat. I decided to tap into that fear and the concept blossomed from there.”

Eskandari added that he wanted the film to explore real-life themes that viewers could relate to. “[The film] deals with redemption, guilt, and the bond of sisterhood,” Matt said. “The overall concept was just the dressing for the deeper layers I wanted to explore as a storyteller.”