Friday, November 11, 2011

'Below' is an ever-changing chiller

Below (2002)
Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany, Olivia Williams, Matt Davis, Nick Chinlund, and Andrew Howard
Director: David Twohy
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

While on a patrol in the Atlantic during WW2, an American submarine picks up survivors of a strange attack on a medical ship. As they attempt to reach port, the boat comes under attack from a persistent German submarine hunter while seemingly supernatural events start to hinder their efforts to survive.

With "Below", David Twohy does for the war movie what he did for sci-fi with Pitch Black. What starts in the vein of a war drama, soon shifts to an apparent espionage thriller... and eventually morphs into a full-on horror film with the crew of the submarine fighting against a monster outside (the German ship trying its best to send them to the bottom of the sea permanently) and a vengeful ghost within (both an actual supernatural ghost and the guilt harbored by some of the ship's officers surrounding the events that placed Lt. Commander Brice (Greenwood) in the position of acting captain.

With exceptional performances by the entire cast, a clever script that keeps viewers guessing about what is happening and what will come next up to, quite literally, the film's final scene, and excellent special effects, I am left wondering why this film was dumped unceremoniously directly onto the DVD market and quickly relegated to DVD multi-packs. It's a film far more deserving of the obscurity and company it's been relegated to.

If you like war movies and horror movies, "Below" is a film you need to check out.

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