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Combat - WWII, Horror - Ghosts

Below (2002)

Duration1h 45m
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorDavid Twohy
Writers/ScriptLucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky, David Twohy
StarringBruce Greenwood, Dexter Fletcher, Olivia Williams, Christopher Fairbank, Jason Flemyng, Zach Galifianakis,

Elevator Pitch: The USS Tiger Shark, a submarine in WWII, picks up three survivors from a British ship sunk by the Germans. One is a nurse, bad luck because she is a woman, one is a seaman and one, as it turns out is a German prisoner. They are trouble, but the boat is already in difficulties. The captain has been lost overboard, excess hydrogen is being identified in the machinery spaces and spooky events are taking place. They survive a depth charge attack but crew members are required to swim out and repair an oil leak. Thereafter the craft takes control of events, despite the efforts of the crew.

Content: No nudity or sex, or drinking. There are scenes both inside the submarine and outside when it is being attacked. The scenes inside are claustrophobic and over time the lighting gradually fades until the crew are struggling about in almost total darkness. People in diving gear swim about outside and there are revealing scenes on deck as we find out more about how the captain was lost. Occasional frightening images of bodies and meaningful shadows.

A View: I was surprised to see that this film was on general release, and that it had cost quite a bit, particularly considering they had used an actual submarine. But while this seems practical, they had to build sets the same as the interior of the sub but a bit bigger to accommodate the cameras. I have been in a couple of submarines and there seemed to be quite a bit wrong with the one in this film, but it would be inappropriate to complain, since it is haunted. And where the hell was it?  The deployment of an American submarine in an enviroment containing both German submarines and surface ships is difficult to reconcile with real events. But all in all, it could be a watch for nothing if you can put up with boredom between the few scary moments.

Additional Info: It was not absolutely panned by the critics, but even so on a production budget of $40 million its USA Gross was $605,562.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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