Directed by David Twohy. USA. 2002.
Below echoes the classic horror film The Haunting (1963), as a crew on board a US submarine during World War II experience mysterious occurrences aboard their boat after they rescue three British survivors from a torpedoed medical ship. As the unexplained incidents continue, many on the submarine become convinced that the boat is haunted. If so, who or what is responsible and is there more to the crew of the submarine, and to the three survivors, than meets the eye?
Credit to the cast and
crew for maintaining a compelling mystery throughout the picture, and for
making the characters interesting and believable. Refraining from
indulging in continuous gore or casual violence, Twohy’s film instead features
some terrific action sequences and well-timed shocks. Many sequences
are variations on moments from countless other horror films and submarine-based
thrillers, but Twohy manages to make them fresh and surprising, particularly
a gripping depth charge attack that’ll have viewers on the edge of their
seats. All the actors turn in convincing performances and the excellent
digital effects are used to enhance the story, not cover up for the absence
of one. It’s a shame that Below has been lost amidst a flood of higher
profiled, bigger budgeted - but less accomplished - cinema releases, when
it deserves to reach a wide audience.
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