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Below (2002)

Six hundred feet beneath the surface terror runs deep

Directed by:

David Twohy

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Set within the confines of a US submarine during World War II, this clunky attempt at a chiller seldom reaches the level of spine-tingling it sets out to achieve. The basic premise is that after the captain snuffs it under suspicious circumstances, the crew start falling victim to a number of increasingly eerie accidents. Sensing ghostliness is afoot, the whole lot of them slowly start to go mad and, in one of the film’s more entertaining moments, think that they’re maybe all dead already (almost certainly a wink in the general direction of The Others).

A major problem with the film is that’s it’s virtually impossible to tell one crew member from the next. Olivia ‘Rushmore‘ Williams stands out predominantly because she’s the only woman on board, and Bruce ‘Thirteen Days‘ Greenwood because his Lieutenant Brice character has a bit of bite to him. But none of the rest have been given any noteworthy characteristics, and caring about them seems a laborious task as a result.

The movie’s main strength is its cinematography, with some great shots both inside the submarine and out. But the “shocks” don’t cut the mustard and, after a decent opening, it sinks swiftly into the murky waters of boredom.

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It's Got: Matthew Blue Crush Davis fulfilling his usual role of standing about looking handsome.

It Needs: To make better use of all that darkness by injecting some proper scares.

DVD Extras A trailer, a handful of deleted scenes (with optional commentary), a standard run-of-the-mill making of featurette, and a full-length commentary from Twohy. DVD Extras Rating: 4/10

Summary

A totally unremarkable underwater creepfest.

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