Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


BELOW (2002). Director: David Twohy.

Mildly strange occurrences on a submarine during World War 2 lead some of the more suggestible members of the crew to believe that the sub is haunted. It turns out that they're right, but the audience may find it hard to believe as most of the film seems to be over before director Twohy adds some genuine spookiness to the atmosphere. [There is one – and only one -- great scene in the movie. A crew member looks into a mirror and turns this way and that, but his reflection is always half a second or so out of sync. Later on he turns around, turning his back on his reflection, but his reflection remains facing forward.] It turns out that a terrible mistake has been made by some of the officers, who have murdered their captain as part of a cover up. This picture could have been a masterpiece – the script, effects, and (most of the) acting are creditable – but Twohy's direction is so poor and indifferent that he virtually robs every important sequence of its potential dramatic power. Bruce Greenwood offers a fairly one-dimensional portrait of the murderous Brice, but Cary Elwes-lookalike Matt Davis is better as an ensign who slowly discovers the details of his heinous deeds. Olivia Williams makes little impression as a nurse off a Red Cross vessel that was mistakenly bombed.
Verdict: Insubstantial as a ghost. *1/2.

No comments: