Below - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Below Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 22, 2010
Solid thriller set on a sub during WWII. It was actually quite good. Was surprised by this movie I had never heard of.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2016
Twohy does a great job (mainly in the first hour) to slowly build an absorbing mystery in this claustrophobic mix of horror and war movie (like Das Boot meets The Shining), even if later on it is weakened by stupid plot holes and a silly attempt to sound profound in the end.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2011
"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.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2011
Great movie. It's got suspense, intense moments, good acting, solid plot, and it's actually scary.

The plot was pretty straight forward after everything was explained at the end. Usually mystery/suspense movies have plot holes or confusing storylines that make no sense, but this one didn't!

When I heard about Below, I just passed on it because it seemed like a dumb film. It was actually very good. Awesome movie. I'd watch it again.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2009
As a submarine film it's technically absurd, but as a thrilling edge-of-your-seat ghost story it's not half bad. *NOTE: Zach Galifianakis as 'Weird Wally' is a brilliant bit of casting.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2010
A decent ghost movie with a really good murder mystery behind it. The cast does a really good job as we follow this WWII mystery from the inside of an American U Boat.
While most of the scares weren't as spooky or effective as I would have liked the story made up for the short comings. I liked the characters and all of the major set pieces were effective and well done.
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2010
One of the rare flicks that delivers what it promises on the box - this is a truly great marriage of light-gore ghost story and tense submarine thriller. Zach Galifianakis plays such a great supporting role in this flick that I mistook him for Richard Dreyfuss the WHOLE film (not knowing the year of this film when watching). The expected twist (which actually packed more of a punch than your typical twist) is what lowers this to the 3.5 level instead of 4 stars, but removing that element would have utterly undone the whole structure of the film so if you have more tolerance for twist endings than me, you may enjoy more, and if you have less then you may utterly hate this whole film as a result.

I applaud this film for not relying on typical sound-cued jump scares and instead built believable tension and mounting madness. You feel like you are in this cursed sub with these guys and lady, listening to the unidentifiable noises outside, sensing the unseen forces lurking in the next compartment, and fearing a Nazi torpedo and a drowned death at unfathomable depth.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2010
Surprisingly good! When something is labeled a supernatural thriller, one tends to be a bit skeptical, regardless of who wrote it. However, don't judge this flick by its cover- there's a lot going on (and a treat for WWII buffs).
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2007
Entertaining enough, although I expected a bit more from a write of Daron Arnofsky. I must admit, I haven't seen a haunted submarine movie before. The cast was great, all B-movie actors (or at least minor character actors). I half expected to see Ron Pearlman in navy stripes.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2006
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2007
Best ghost submarine movie ever!
Super Reviewer
February 27, 2007
An interesting undersea ghost story (or is it?) directed by the man responsible for cult sci-fi classic Pitch Black, this is similarly good-looking and atmospheric. The shocks are a little obvious, but it keep you guessing (is the sub really haunted, or are they just suffering paranoid ill effects from oxygen deprivation?) and Twohy creates a nice otherworldy feel, particularly in the diving scene on the exterior of the sub.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2015
Didn't hate it, but I expected more from a Twohy/Aronofsky combo.
Super Reviewer
½ December 9, 2010
"Below" 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.I went into the movie "Below" expecting another cheesy horror flick but instead found a very enjoyable action/horror movie. The actors, tho not well known, did a real good job and the plot line was excellent. The submarine actually looked like a submarine and not a cheap set .
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2014
The movie comes so close to working, but Twohy can't keep the tone consistent. It doesn't help that he spends so much time developing a supernatural threat, only to abandon it in the finale for a weak resolution to the undercooked mystery behind said threat.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2007
Little-seen haunted sub thriller has atmosphere to spare.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2011
A haunted ship is a common setting for scary movies, well how about a haunted submarine? Trapped hundreds of feet under the sea in a metal capsule you *really* have nowhere to run! That claustrophobic scenario serves Below very well which lends an unusual oppressive soggy atmosphere. Convincing performances fuel the paranoia leading to a surprising conclusion.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2009
Like the other David Twohy films I've seen this film has a lot going for it. It is very well shot, very well acted, and it has a great sense of atmosphere. And like his other films, for some reason I don't really understand, it never quite transcends, or becomes anything more than an enjoyable way to pass the time. It is definitely good, it just never really became great for me.
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