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 Lt. Brice (Bruce Greenwood) to take command, trying to avoid a German destroyer on the hunt for his ship, while investigating the series of mysterious incidents that are terrifying his crew. Is the Tiger Shark haunted, or is there something otherworldly inhabiting the waters where the sailors are currently trapped? Originally entitled "Proteus," this project was slated to be Aronofsky's follow-up to Pi (1998), but the writer/director opted to helm Requiem for a Dream (2000) instead. Below co-stars Scott Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Dexter Fletcher, and Holt McCallany. … More
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Critic Reviews for Below
The film has enough spooky momentum and good actors to keep it going.
It's not original enough.
Twohy's overwrought, comic-book theatrics work against him, as does the hokey script.
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.
We get the sense that Twohy wants to push this movie to the limits but eases up in the last minutes and tends to resort to old horror clichés...
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.
An underappreciated little film that would go down well as part of a triple bill on video for some undemanding entertainment.
Half Submarine flick, Half Ghost Story, All in one criminally neglected film
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.
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
Thanks to strong acting and low-key direction, Below stays above water in atmosphere and suspense.
What rounds out the taut WWII terror tale is a more contemporary spin on the paranoia and dehumanization that are the byproducts of war.
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.
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.
A crisp psychological drama [and] a fascinating little thriller that would have been perfect for an old "Twilight Zone" episode.
Audience Reviews for Below
Solid thriller set on a sub during WWII. It was actually quite good. Was surprised by this movie I had never heard of.More
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.More
"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.
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.More
- Lt. Brice:
- Try not to fraternize with the men. They can be a little... strange.
- Claire Page:
- Strange, as in superstitious?
- Lt. Brice:
- As in 'strange.'
- Three redcoats... and guess what? One of 'ems a bleeder!
- Lt. Brice:
- Now I realize why he didn't kill me too. He didn't have to.
- Lt. Brice:
- Mister Loomis, where's our crew?
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