Below (2002)
Main cast: Matthew Davis (Ensign Douglas O'Dell), Bruce Greenwood (Lt Brice), Olivia Williams (Claire Paige), Holt McCallany (Lt Loomis), Scott Foley (Lt Coors), Zach Galifianakis (Wallace), Jason Flemyng (Stumbo), Dexter Fletcher (Kingsley), Nick Chinlund (Chief), and Jonathan Hartman (Schillings)
Director: David N Twohy


Below may be a modestly-budgeted one hour and forty minutes long The Twilight Zone episode, but it is also one exciting ride. It has its problems, but in the end, everything comes together for one chilling ride.

Claire Pages is a doctor and she and her patient are rescued by the submarine USS Tiger Shark when her ship was blown up by what she thought was German submarines. This movie, by the way, is set in the World War 2. Here, she learns that while the USS Tiger Shark may be manned by what must be the most gorgeous men one could assemble from the Navy (Bruce Greenwood - yummy!), things aren't so well onboard as well. For one, the captain died under strange circumstances, and the current acting captain, Lt Brice, is hiding something. Only Ensign Douglas seems to be her ally, and boy, will she need allies when not only the Germans begin torpedoing the ship, but the ghost of the dead captain may be haunting it as well. Everything goes down the pits when the submarine sinks to the bottom of the ocean after being shot at by the Germans. With a ghost causing problems, things don't look good at all, oh dear.

Claire isn't the best written character here - she is the stock Ripley the Strong Horror Movie Heroine that is now a stereotype in this genre. The movie is more successful at depicting male camaraderie, even when this time around it is male camaraderie united in some not-very-nice conspiracies. The movie succeeds very well in using darkness and the occassional light from torches or candles to create really creepy atmosphere, and even better is the mystery of the captain's death being inserted into the plot most cohesively.

The plot isn't the most original, but with deftly handled expertise, Twohy manages to use the best of his cast and his set to create one fine movie. I can argue that towards the end, the ghost angle actually seems superfluous an addition in an already crowded plot - it will be so much better if the ghost turns out to be mere hallucination by men trapped in the submarine. All in all, a fine scary movie. And the sight of a naked Holt McCallany isn't too bad either.

Rating: 86


My Favorite Pages

This movie at Amazon.com

This movie at Amazon UK

Search for more movie reviews:

My Guestbook Return to The Movie Autopsy Guild Email