Below is a spine-chilling, mystifying thriller with an unusual setting that beautifully amalgamates the unsettling claustrophobia of submarine films and the ethereal, eerie elements of a supernatural story. This 2002 film is directed by David Twohy, known for his work on 'The Chronicles of Riddick', and co-written by Darren Aronofsky, the mastermind behind some truly twisted psychological thrillers like 'Requiem for a Dream' and 'Black Swan.'
The film breathes life into a frighteningly realistic portrayal of submarine warfare during World War II, with a supernatural spin that keeps the audience on edge from start to finish. The cast, including Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Holt McCallany, and Matthew Davis, delivers stirring performances as the crew of an American submarine that unwittingly ventures into the dreaded waters of the paranormal.
The story unfolds aboard the U.S.S. Tiger Shark, a submarine patrolling the Atlantic during the height of World War II. Under the astute command of Lieutenant Brice (Bruce Greenwood), the submarine is tasked with a rescue mission after receiving distress signals from a stranded British medical ship. Amidst treacherous and nerve-racking marine warfare, the crew pick up three survivors, including the enigmatic Claire Paige (Olivia Williams), a British nurse who soon finds herself in a hostile environment grappling with the perilous reality of being the only woman aboard.
As soon as the survivors are aboard, strange occurrences begin to pervade the once orderly routines of the submarine, setting a sinister mood that grows progressively darker. Unseen forces seem to take control of the vessel creating uncertainty and tension among the crew. What follows is a chilling series of inexplicable events, building up an unsettling aura throughout the submarine. The crew, already dealing with intense isolation of their submerged world and the mortal threat of conflict around every corner, now face an escalating paranormal terror. All this while they are hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface, cold and cloistered in the metal canister that is their only protection against the crushing pressure of the deep.
As suspicions and nerves fray within the close confines of the submarine, the film offers an engrossing study of the psychological toll of confinement, warfare and paranormal phenomena. At its core, it is a ghost story. However, it leverages its unique setting to add layers of suspense, unease and terror. The audience, like the crew, is drawn into the maddening claustrophobia – the fear of being trapped not just within the physical confines of the submarine but within the unending, unyielding abyss of the deep sea.
Below is as much a psychological horror film as it is a vintage war movie — the war scenes are convincingly realistic and nerve-wracking, while the supernatural elements are cleverly interwoven to maintain an undercurrent of chilling suspense throughout. The film's use of sound is also masterfully done – with the eerie silence of the deep sea punctuated by the sudden, harsh noise of alarms, depth charges and metal screeching against metal.
The stunning underwater cinematography coupled with an electrifying score sets the perfect backdrop for the paranormal occurrences, delivering an immersive experience like no other. Despite being set in World War II, the film has an ageless quality to it. The expertly obfuscated line between reality and illusion combined with the film’s atmospheric tension and gradually escalating dread makes Below an experience that is truly impactful and remarkably unforgettable.
To sum up, Below is a haunting sea tale that harks back to the classic ghost stories, but with an innovative and inspired setting. It brings together the human struggle for survival in far-from-ideal conditions, with the inexplicability and unforgiving nature of the supernatural, and the intermingling of these dual horrors is what makes Below undoubtedly worthwhile for both submarine movie fans and horror enthusiasts.
Below is a Thriller, Horror, Mystery movie released in 2002. It has a runtime of 105 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.1. It also holds a MetaScore of 55.How to Watch Below
Where can I stream Below movie online? Below is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Below for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.