October 24th, 2002



No valid json found

Still of Holt McCallany and Olivia Williams in BelowStill of Jason Flemyng and Matthew Davis in BelowStill of Matthew Davis and Olivia Williams in BelowOlivia Williams, Matt Davis, director David Twohy and Scott Foley on the set of David TwohyÂ’s BELOW.Still of Bruce Greenwood in BelowScott Foley, Bruce Greenwood and Holt McCallany

Strange happenings occur on a WW II submarine.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 6.2/10 (10,699 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: David Twohy

Stars: Bruce Greenwood, David Crow, Matthew Davis

In the dark silence of the sea during World War II, the submarine U.S.S. Tiger Shark prowls on what should be a routine rescue mission. But for the shell-shocked crew, trapped together in the sub's narrow corridors and constricted spaces, this is about to become a journey into the sensory delusions, mental deceptions and runaway fear that lurk just below the surface of the ocean and deep inside the human psyche.

Writers: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky

Matthew Davis - Odell (as Matt Davis)
Bruce Greenwood - Brice
Holt McCallany - Loomis
Dexter Fletcher - Kingsley
Nick Chinlund - Chief
Olivia Williams - Claire
Scott Foley - Coors
Andrew Howard - Hoag
Christopher Fairbank - Pappy
Chuck Ellsworth - Navy Pilot
Crispin Layfield - Navy Lookout
Jonathan Hartman - Schillings
Sebastian Knapp - Sonar #1
Max Casali - Air Manifold
Alexis Conran - Helmsman

Taglines: Six hundred feet beneath the surface terror runs deep


Official Website: Official site [United States] |

Release Date: 24 October 2002

Filming Locations: Lake Michigan, Illinois, USA

Opening Weekend: $201,431 (USA) (13 October 2002) (168 Screens)

Gross: $589,424 (USA) (27 October 2002)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Some filming for this movie took place on an actual WW2 submarine. The USS Silversides (which is available for tours) located in Muskegon Michigan was towed out into the middle of Lake Michigan where scenes with Bruce Greenwood were filmed. The Silversides had some minor re-painting done (rust coloration), but is now back to her original gray color. The rest of the sets and models used in this movie were all based on the look and layout of the Silversides.

Anachronisms: US fleet subs of that era were incredibly cramped and would not have contained as much leg and head room as the one depicted in the movie. The submarine set used for interior shots is built on a larger scale to accommodate both actors and the shooting crew.

[first lines]
Brice: [hands coordinates to Loomis]
Lt. Loomis: This is almost a day behind us, sir.
Lt. Loomis: Well who are they? Americans, Brits, Italians? It doesn't even say.
Brice: Well I think we can assume they're friendly, Mr. Loomis. Besides, it doesn't appear to be a suggestion, does it.

User Review

A smart, chilling "B" picture.

Rating: 10/10

Below (*****) I know what you're thinking. A "B" picture about a haunted submarine? And I think it's the best flick I've seen so far this year? Well, when a "B" picture is this smart, this intricate, this well-made, this damned entertaining, then, yeah, it's the best movie I've seen so far this year.

Here's the set-up: it's 1943 in the North Atlantic, and the U.S.S. Tiger Shark picks up three survivors from a British hospital ship that was torpedoed two days earlier; the discovery that one of the survivors is a German leads to violence; and, then, really weird things start happening, all the while a German cruiser is chasing the sub down. Is a ghost trying to destroy the sub and its crew, or are they just imagining things through convenient coincidences?

Below was written by Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky and the film's director, David N. Twohy; Aronofsky is the smart filmmaker behind the art-house hit Requiem for a Dream, and Twohy has consistently specialized in sophisticated "B" pictures like The Arrival and Pitch Black. Below offers up an intricate storyline that keeps both the characters and the audience guessing--when they and we aren't jumping out of our skins in terror. Twohy's direction is an example of economic brilliance--the flick charges forward, piling on the twists and scares methodically, but never gratuitously--thankfully, this is a horror flick that's more about mood than about gore--indeed, it's less in tune with modern splatterfests than it is an homage to the cerebral Val Lewton thrillers of the 1940s (like The Seventh Victim or Isle of the Dead).

And what mood this movie creates! Ian Wilson's cinematography is vibrant and chilling, and the magnificent special effects never overwhelm the story--except for a final, hauntingly beautiful shot that will linger in your memory for quite awhile.

An added bonus is the cast of smart players: Bruce Greenwood as the sub commander trying to hold his crew and himself together; Matt Davis as the wet-behind-the-ears officer not really accepted by the crew; Olivia Williams as an English nurse who is both suspect and suspicious; and Holt McCallaney as a gruff officer.

It appears that Below is being dumped by its studio, Dimension, with little advertising or fanfare; a shame, really, since it's one of the most sophisticated and highest quality pictures I've seen in quite awhile. [Rated R: Violence, language, brief nudity.]


Comments are closed.