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Below (2002)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 24

Below is a creepy, claustrophobic exercise in style.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 11

Below is a creepy, claustrophobic exercise in style.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 7,639

My Rating

Movie Info

Reflecting studio executives' taste for material that crosses genres, this film from director David Twohy and co-screenwriter Darren Aronofsky mixes the war movie and supernatural thriller genres. After they rescue a trio of survivors that includes a nurse, Claire Page (Olivia Williams), from a British hospital ship sunk by the Nazis, the crew of the American submarine U.S.S. Tiger Shark comes to believe that their vessel is haunted. The unexpected death of their commander forces first officer

Mar 11, 2003


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All Critics (72) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (24) | DVD (22)

The film has enough spooky momentum and good actors to keep it going.

November 4, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An enjoyable, if occasionally flawed, experiment.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not original enough.

October 18, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alive with creepy, menacing flair.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Twohy's overwrought, comic-book theatrics work against him, as does the hokey script.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The reason Below gets beneath your skin is that the scriptwriters know what most current horror filmmakers never learned: Fear is an emotion, not a visceral response.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A subtly eerie mood piece.

January 27, 2009 Full Review Source:

A well-crafted and criminally underrated Underwater Ghost Story.

March 31, 2004 Full Review Source:

O roteiro tem sua parcela de furos e absurdos, mas a boa direção de Twohy consegue manter o clima de tensão por boa parte do tempo.

March 2, 2004
Cinema em Cena

An underappreciated little film that would go down well as part of a triple bill on video for some undemanding entertainment.

September 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Gurus

Half Submarine flick, Half Ghost Story, All in one criminally neglected film

March 17, 2003 Full Review Source:

Twohy is not only skilled at building and maintaining suspense, he's also aware that a cast chock full of experienced character actors is the right fit for a haunted sub flick.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

an exceedingly clever piece of cinema.another great 'what you don't see' is much more terrifying than what you do see thriller, coupled with some arresting effects, incandescent tones and stupendous performances

November 15, 2002

Thanks to strong acting and low-key direction, Below stays above water in atmosphere and suspense.

November 1, 2002
Sun Newspapers of Cleveland

What rounds out the taut WWII terror tale is a more contemporary spin on the paranoia and dehumanization that are the byproducts of war.

October 28, 2002 Full Review
Long Island Press

Consistently clever and suspenseful.

October 25, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Gave me the willies.

October 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

As underwater ghost stories go, Below casts its spooky net out into the Atlantic Ocean and spits it back, grizzled and charred, somewhere northwest of the Bermuda Triangle.

October 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

There is nothing outstanding about this film, but it is good enough and will likely be appreciated most by sailors and folks who know their way around a submarine.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

A crisp psychological drama [and] a fascinating little thriller that would have been perfect for an old "Twilight Zone" episode.

October 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

This sub-standard thriller won't float your boat.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Community Newspapers
Houston Community Newspapers

Too derivative for its own good (or that of the viewer) and simply not scary, suspenseful or intriguing enough in its design or execution.

October 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Audience Reviews for Below

Good mixture of horror and war. Spooky goings on aboard a submarine during WWII, which is being stalked by a German destroyer as well as whatever is on board with them.
January 7, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Six hundred feet beneath the surface terror runs deep"

In the dark silence of the sea during World War II, the submarine U.S.S. Tiger Shark prowls on what should be a routine rescue mission. But for the shell-shocked crew, trapped together in the sub's narrow corridors and constricted spaces, this is about to become a journey into the sensory delusions, mental deceptions and runaway fear that lurk just below the surface of the ocean and deep inside the human psyche.

'Below' is actually three genres, an ultra-realistic WWII submarine adventure, a tense psychological mystery thriller, and a horrific ghost story. That the horrific ghost story portion is no where near as effective as the other two doesn't degrade writer-director David Twohy's achievement. It might, however, partly explain the movie's abysmal box office (less than $500,000; the sets probably cost more than that) . Twohy struggles a bit trying to integrate the genre elements. He needed have bothered. Jettisoning the ghost story entirely wouldn't have hurt the film. The three most horrific scenes don't involve the supernatural at all. One involves the sub sitting on the shallow bottom and being torn to pieces by huge hooks attached to a destroyer's anchor chain (Never seen that before; it's frighteningly plausible). The second involves divers being surprised by a school of big manta rays. The third is searching for survivors in darkened compartments incinerated by a blast of escaping hydrogen from the ship's depleted batteries.

'Below' is cast with a crew of very competent unknowns, such as Bruce Greenwood and Matt Davis. Olivia Williams is probably the most familiar face. However, even she looks considerably different here. The use of unknowns works well for a submarine movie, slightly less so for a mystery. However, it doesn't work well at all for a ghost story, especially considering the large cast, since some two similar faces become confusing. Further Twohy should have studied James Wong's terrific directing of 'Final Destination'. Wong correctly let unseen forces create create his horror rather than shock ghost effects. Twohy does get it right, however, in a scene when one officer studies his own movements in a mirror and finds his reflection is not the same. This scene creates a whole new spin on the classic Marx Brothers scene in 'Duck Soup'. It's the scariest supernatural bit in the whole movie.
August 16, 2011
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

A very ineffective supernatural thriller. I thought it would be a little better since Arronofsky's name was attached to it, but I was wrong. The cast was mediocre at best and overall the movie failed with being scary and with being thrilling. It seemed like a bad M. Night Shyamalan film.
May 30, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Lt. Brice: Try not to fraternize with the men. They can be a little... strange.
    2. Claire Page: Strange, as in superstitious?
    3. Lt. Brice: As in 'strange.'
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
    1. Hoag: Three redcoats... and guess what? One of 'ems a bleeder!
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
    1. Lt. Brice: Now I realize why he didn't kill me too. He didn't have to.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
    1. Lt. Brice: Mister Loomis, where's our crew?
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
    1. Lt. Brice: [first lines] [hands coordinates to captain]
    2. Kingsley: This is almost a day behind us.
    3. Kingsley: Well who are they? Americans, Brits, Italians? It doesn't even say.
    4. Lt. Brice: Well I think we can assume they're friendly, Mr. Winters. Besides, it doesn't appear to be a suggestion, does it.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
    1. Stumbo: Hoag, are you pushing him up or feeling him up?
    2. Hoag: I've got a dead kraut dick in my face and you're complainin'? Come on Stumbo!
    – Submitted by Folashade K (21 months ago)
View all quotes (15)

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