March 25th, 2003



Below is a film made by the david twohy, the guy who made the fine Pitch Black.

unlike Pitch Black, Below has one of the worse titles i've ever seen for a submarine ghost film. just terrible. but, fortunately, this is the worse thing about the film, is it is a stylish little ghost flick with reasonable performances from everyone involved. but, it's twohy's film, from beginning to end, and it's the style and shape of the film that is what resonates with the viewer afterwards. none of the characters, sadly, will stick with you after the film, though bruce greenwood's tortured submarine captain is the most memorable.

Below is set in 1943 on a tiger shark submarine, and begins as the crew pick up three survivors from the water while fleeing a destroyer. it lacks a single point of view tot ell the story from, which might have helped, but the story of the submarine and its crew and ghost unfold at a fine pace once inside it. the film looks great: it's claustrophobic, there are dozens of metaphoric images that are played with pulp relish, and there are a series of sounds when the submarine is beneath the water that slowly begin to sound like the pounding of someone's fists.

in addition to this, Below features many fine moments such as the mirror and the explosion towards the end of the film. personally, i thought this was handled fantastically and the effect of one character saying, 'it's warm,' was more effective than if it had been shown.

this film will not be considered an a great film, but it's stylish, it's good, and it's entirely worth your time.
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