Search - Below on DVD

Actors: Bruce Greenwood, David Crow, Matthew Davis, Olivia Williams, Holt McCallany
Director: David Twohy
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War, Animation
R     2003     1hr 45min

On what should be a routine rescue mission during World War II, the submarine USS Tiger Shark picks up three survivors of a U-boat attack. But for the crew -- trapped together in the sub's narrow corridors and constricted ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Bruce Greenwood, David Crow, Matthew Davis, Olivia Williams, Holt McCallany
Director: David Twohy
Creators: David Twohy, Andrew Rona, Bob Weinstein, Darren Aronofsky, Eric Watson, Lucas Sussman
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War, Animation
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Animation, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War, Animation
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/11/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 12/14/2010...
holds your attention without all the scifi special effects and manages to be a mystery at the same time. Very well done and I enjoyed it very much.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 3/13/2010...
This movie was AWESOME! I was pleasantly surprised...I'd never heard of the flick, just came across it on Swapa. Excelent wartime move set in 1945 aboard a U.S. submarine in enemy waters. The submarine becomes a big charactor in itself at it has to be the most dangerous boat in the Navy...especially back in the 40's. Really good actors...compelling storytelling...totally creepy at times.

I like it...alot, and I'm keeping this copy for myself.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Great film and sharp DVD
Steven W. Hill | Chicago, IL United States | 03/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally saw the David Twohy ("Pitch Black") thriller Below last night and was slightly disappointed, but ONLY because my expectations were so high. I thought it was great - not as good as Pitch Black, but a different kind of movie so a comparison isn't really fair.At first you get the feeling that the movie can't decide what it wants to be - war? mystery? ghost story? horror? submarine hunt? Then you realize that it WANTS to be all those in one. And it does a very good job of being ALL of them.There are some excellent, VERY brief visuals in the movie that contribute to the sense of unease and otherworldly. It's the best representation ever of the feeling that you can only catch a glimpse of a ghost out of the corner of your eye.The sound design (as with just about any submarine movie) is excellent and story-critical. The acting is top-calibre from a relatively obscure cast (Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Matthew Davis, Holt McCallany, Scott Foley, Jason Flemyng, Nick Chinlund). The film is co-scripted by Darren Aronofsky ("Pi", "Requiem for a Dream"). Director Twohy puts in a cameo appearance.The DVD exhibits one of the cleanest, clearest pictures I've ever seen (in my collection of 1000 DVDs). It rivals the transfer of a more obvious reference disc like "Monsters, Inc.". The sound, although not DTS, is terrific, and you'll want to turn up the volume so you can hear everything from the hull noises to whispering voices. The disc is presented in anamorphic widescreen at about 1.79:1I highly recommend it!"
An original and inventive submarine thriller
Jason Cheng | Catonsville, MD | 10/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The year is 1943, and the U.S.S. Tiger Shark is on a covert assignment deep within enemy territory in the Atlantic Ocean, until an order takes them on a detour for a rescue mission. When they arrive at the designated coordinates, three survivors from a British medical ship are found and brought aboard, among them is a female named Claire. It turns out that a German U-boat had torpedoed and destroyed their craft two days ago, leaving them stranded in the sea. Soon after, strange things begin to happen on the submarine as Claire starts to uncover clues that eventually lead her to a dark secret among the senior crewmen. Now they must find a way to evade the enemies above, while dealing with an unknown terror in their midst at the same time.Below came highly recommended to me, and I have to say that I was very impressed, especially with the acting. You might remember Bruce Greewood's compelling performance as of JFK in Thirteen Days; here he plays Lt. Brice, the acting captain of the Tiger Shark. On the surface Brice is a very capable man, decisive and a great leader, but as his past begins to catch up with him, the guy slowly breaks down, and Greenwood does a good job portraying the character's slow descent into instability. Olivia Williams and Matthew Davis are equally solid in the roles of Claire and Ensign O'Dell respectively.Admittedly there are certain cliches one would often expect in horror movies, such as the obligatory visual tricks, the unexplained noises, and sudden crescendo in the music to insinuate the presence of the paranormal. Yet director Twohy was able to create some interesting and effective sequences, one noteworthy scene took place when Lt. Loomis noticed his image the mirror, there was an obvious lag between the movements he makes and the reflection's response, it still gives me the creeps when I think about it. The script co-written by Aronofsky is another strong point of the movie, original and inventive, even though the film seems to flounder a bit towards the middle, as it transitions from the action-oriented WWII subplot to the more suspense filled part of the film. In the end, the plot is an engaging tale that will probably leave you wondering whether if the submarine is really cursed, or is it just a string of coincidental circumstances?I would consider Below as one of the best movies I've seen all year, therefore I am somewhat perplexed in regards to Dimension Films' poor treatment of its release. There was little to no advertisement, the trailer itself wasn't made available until a week before the picture hit the theaters, director Twohy even had to put up a website out of his own pocket. But don't let that stop you, despite some of the minor flaws I have mentioned previously, Below is a very well rounded film, and I believe it should cater to a wide range of moviegoers, that is if they will give it a chance which the studio never did."
Creepiness fore and aft
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I heard about a horror movie called "Below" set on a submarine during World War II, I knew I had to sit up and take note. I also noticed that Darren Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. If you don't know this chap, he's the guy who translated Hubert Selby's shattering novel about drug addiction, "Requiem for a Dream," to the silver screen. Moreover, "Pitch Black" director David Twohy stepped in to lens the picture. Sounds great, doesn't it? There is as much talent in front of the camera as there is behind it, too. But putting all of that aside, isn't it great when someone makes a submarine picture? We just don't see enough of these movies today, or not enough GOOD submarine pictures. I suspect "Das Boot" sort of ruined the genre for everyone else--that, and the excellent "The Hunt for Red October." Once someone makes an excellent film in any particular genre, all other efforts must inevitably measure up or be considered a failure. "Below" contains many scenes found in other submarine films--the claustrophobia of life in a tin box beneath the waves and the horror of dodging depth charges are two examples that come to mind immediately--but the movie differs by adding a horror twist to the mix.

The troubles start when the captain of the USS Tiger Shark (the submarine in question) goes overboard after sinking an enemy vessel. Now commanded by Brice (Bruce Greenwood), the ship picks up three survivors from a sinking British medical ship on the way back to port. The crew of submariners, always a superstitious lot in the grand tradition of sailors everywhere, strenuously objects to picking up these survivors. Why? Not because they are hardhearted but because one of them is a female nurse and everyone knows a woman onboard translates into the worst of luck. Sometimes superstitions ring true. No sooner does Nurse Claire (Olivia Williams) arrive than weird things start happening. A German ship draws a bead on the sub and drops lots of depth charges, a couple of which seriously damage the submarine. Even worse, weird and unexplainable events start popping up with frightening regularity, for example the deceased captain's record player springing to life at the worst possible times. The crew starts to hear strange noises outside the vessel, noises that defy attempts to explain them away as whale songs or other predictable sounds. An assessment of the sub's damage confirms that hydrogen levels in the ship are rising to amounts that can cause hallucinations and paranoia. The boat is also suffering from an oil leak that threatens to destroy the engines.

At some point in the narrative, Brice begins to deteriorate mentally. So does the rest of the crew, several members of which begin to see odd reflections and shadows inside the ship. By the time a bunch of the guys have to don scuba gear and go outside to repair the leak the viewer comes to expect imminent disaster. Not yet, though. One more horrific event takes place that sends the crew of the USS Tiger Shark into paroxysms of fear: the sub begins to chart a course back to the scene of the sinking that resulted in the captain's demise. This is a problem on two fronts. One, no one set a such a course, which leads many to surmise that the ghost of the captain is definitely onboard. Two, the damage to the submarine requires immediate repair, which won't happen if the crew can no longer steer the vessel. Oh dear. Does a ghost genuinely haunt the USS Tiger Shark? Or is a much more human cause at the heart of the weird goings on? It's to the film's credit that we can never say for sure exactly what causes these creepy incidents. One thing we do learn is that Brice and a few other crewmembers share a few secrets about what really happened to the sub's captain, secrets that will inevitably come to the surface (pun intended) as disaster looms on the horizon.

I liked "Below" for several reasons. First, the performances are first rate. Greenwood gives a nuanced performance as Brice; it's a tricky role in that the actor can't suddenly turn into a raving maniac but must gradually reveal his character's mental deterioration. This Greenwood does effectively. Another welcome character is Weird Wally (Zach Galifianakis), who serves up necessary doses of comic relief whenever things get too weird on the submarine. Matthew Davis plays Ensign Odell, the obligatory hero character who eventually begins to question Brice's increasingly bizarre actions. "Below" also effectively uses CGI and sound effects to create a creepy atmosphere. And what an atmosphere! Think about it for a second--you can walk out of a haunted building, but where are you going to go when a spirit pops up on a submarine that risks attack if it surfaces? Exactly. About the only problem I had with the movie concerns the huge cast of characters. So many people step forward at various times that it is difficult in the extreme to keep track of them all. It's actually a small problem that fortunately doesn't interfere with the effectiveness of the movie.

A commentary track with Twohy and a few cast members, deleted scenes, a making of feature, and trailers for "Dracula 2002," "Halloween: Resurrection," "Tangled," and "Undisputed" round out the disc. While I don't think "Below" ranks as the best horror movie made in the last few years, I do think horror fans should pay it a visit. Fans of submarine films will probably want to give "Below" a watch too.