Film / Below

It's August 1943 and the USS Tiger Shark, operating in the Atlantic ocean right after the biggest U-Boat operation in the war, is asked by a recon Catalina hydroplane to pick up three survivors (a nurse and two patients) of a British hospital ship sunk by German submarine. But for some reason morale in the sub is low and it's going to go even lower as strange accidents start conspiring against the ship's continuing survival. May be something worst than mere bad luck... Maybe even a malediction is at work.

Below is a psychological horror movie with a cast of very familiar faces but not a single star, directed by David Twohy and written by Lucas Sussman and Darren Aronofsky in 2002. The movie did extremely poor numbers at the box office and had mixed, but mostly positive, reviews.

The tropes Below...

  • Abandon Ship: They wish...
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Artistic License Ships: British merchant ships wouldn't fly the Union Jack, submarines were segregated during WWII and maximum periscope depth was 62 feet, for example.
    • In addition, this WWII era submarine was shown to have multiple decks, wide corridors, and much more interior space than any real-life submarine could have.
  • Asshole Victim
  • Awful Truth: The former captain was killed to hide the fact that it was the Tiger Shark the sub that sank the British hospital ship because of a failed periscope ID.
  • The Captain: Commander Brice. subverted in that Brice is actually the XO, in command after Winters was killed.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Each of the officers involved in the Awful Truth are shown to have blood on their hands at some point after the fact. Brice is shown washing the blood off his hands after killing the German POW. Loomis smashes his hand against a glass panel in a fit of rage and cuts it.
  • Twist Ending: Invoked by the crew of the Tiger Shark themselves. Hoag's explanation of all the unusual occurrences is that during the depth charge attack, their sub was actually sunk and they are all dead but just don't know it. Wally's response? "That's a good twist!"
  • Unusual Euphemism: Some of the Forties slang is pretty colourful: "skirt" and "bleeder" for a woman, for example.