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What is Netflix’s The Abyss?

The movie has beaten Avatar: The Last Airbender to become the most-watched title of the week.

The Abyss
The Abyss
2023 | Maturity rating:15 | 1h 44m | Drama
As the Swedish town of Kiruna sinks, Frigga finds herself torn between her family and her job as security chief at the world's largest underground mine.
Starring:Tuva Novotny,Peter Franzén,Kardo Razzazi. (Netflix)
The Abyss has shot up the Netflix charts with 22.3 million views in a week. (Netflix)

Netflix is known for commissioning hotly-anticipated originals, but sometimes the platform has a hit on its hands that is rather unexpected — as has been the case with The Abyss.

The movie has enthralled viewers so much that it has blasted straight to number one on the top ten list, beating the viewership numbers for Netflix's adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender in doing so. But what is the film about and why is it interesting cinephiles so much? Let's explore.

What is Netflix’s The Abyss?

The Abyss
The Abyss
2023 | Maturity rating:15 | 1h 44m | Drama
As the Swedish town of Kiruna sinks, Frigga finds herself torn between her family and her job as security chief at the world's largest underground mine.
Starring:Tuva Novotny,Peter Franzén,Kardo Razzazi. (Netflix)
The film is set in the Swedish town of Kiruna, which is sinking because of an earthquake triggered by excavation at the world's largest underground mine. (Netflix)

The Abyss is a Swedish disaster film directed by Richard Holm and written by the filmmaker, his son Robin Sherlock Holm and Nicola Sinclair. It stars Tuva Novotny, Peter Franzén, and Kardo Razzazi.

Set in Kiruna, a mining town in Sweden, the movie reveals how the activities in the mine create seismic activity on a daily basis, until one day it triggers a massive earthquake that puts Kiruna at risk of completely collapsing in on itself. There to try and stop this from happening is Frigga (Novotny), the mine's head of security, who must head deep underground to find the source of the tremors and stop it before it's too late.

Read more: Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender receives scathing reviews from critics

The movie has already drawn in 22.3m viewers in a week, 38.2m hours viewed, and is the top non-English film on the streaming platform between 19 to 25 February. By comparison, the top English movie of the week is Mea Culpa, which has drawn in 16 million views in the same time-frame, and Avatar: The Last Airbender drew in 21.2 million views.

The true story behind The Abyss

Picture taken on January 12, 2023 shows a view of the iron mine of Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB in Swedens northernmost city Kiruna. - Europe's largest known deposit of rare earth elements -- key for the production of electric cars -- has been discovered in Sweden's far north, Swedish mining company LKAB said. - Sweden OUT (Photo by Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by JONAS EKSTROMER/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
Kiruna is a real place, and the iron mine of Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB and the mine is really causing the town to sink. (Getty Images)

Yes, The Abyss is based on fact. While the events of the film are fictional the town of Kiruna is very real, and it is sinking because of its iron ore mine. In May 2020 there was an earthquake that was triggered by excavation in the mine, and it is this event that inspired the movie.

Thirteen miners were working at the time of the earthquake but, thankfully, none were injured during the event. The work on the mine has put the town at risk of sinking into a massive crater, though.

The Abyss
The Abyss
2023 | Maturity rating:15 | 1h 44m | Drama
As the Swedish town of Kiruna sinks, Frigga finds herself torn between her family and her job as security chief at the world's largest underground mine.
Starring:Tuva Novotny,Peter Franzén,Kardo Razzazi. (Netflix)
In May 2020 there was an earthquake that was triggered by excavation in the mine, and it is this event that inspired the movie. (Netflix)

The mine is the world's largest underground iron ore excavation site, and has been open since the 1900. Since 2004, the townspeople of Kiruna have been working towards slowly demolishing and rebuilding the town three kilometres (1.9 miles) from where it is now, and the relocation project is currently set to be finished by 2035.

Read more: What's leaving Netflix in March 2024?

Situated 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, the town is being moved one building at a time so that the population of 18,000 people are safe from harm.

The Abyss is available to watch now on Netflix.

Watch the trailer for The Abyss: