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Monday, May 5, 2008


Hunter Haunted

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David Twohy is a notable face of science fiction related entertainment whose name is probably most familiar from the Riddick series, featuring Vin Diesel and two inherent movies to date - let alone the great video game variant which is a significant piece of all the content the franchise offered so far.

The time period to interconnect the two Riddick outputs gives you a nice independent collaboration between David Twohy, Lucas Sussman and Darren Aronofsky, resulting in the story to fuel the 2002 horror buildup below Below, a submarine tale set in the World War II era. Submarine, horror, World War II: a combination which is a must both to scrutinize and to thoroughly analyze.

Below has that special appeal to it which a film to rely strongly on mechanical and spatial isolation evidently should aspire to possess. Submarines do seem both plainly lethal and lethally beautiful to me. These huge instruments are among the most sophisticated tools mechanized warfare ever invented, lone, secret hunters to terrorize and threat absolutely all on the surface of waters. Isolation affects the hive entity of the vessel's crew all the time, thus best way to deal with constant stress is to attempt to make fun of it, though there are things you can not handle neither with elegant sobriety nor with scientific rigorousness once they are revealed to share the submarine's dualistic reality.

A dicey reality indeed which is created and contained by the mere hull of the vessel, characterized by an endless fabric of mechanical intestines for one aspect of its dualistic nature, while the literal pressure of zillion tons of water to surround it clearly informs all living beings inside that the mechanical language spoken by the vessel manifests through a virtually permanent kind of spatial, modal voice - and you advised to get acquainted with it, as you can be sure that the submarine won't ever get tired of exhibiting the constant demands of accepting, handling, digesting the environment it surrounds you with.

These are the focal aspects which do fascinate me immensely about submarines, and surely, it seems as these strange appeals would have had the evident interest of the author trio, as well. Fortunately, Below is a masterful delivery as far as the image quality and "depicted environments" are concerned, though these latter elements naturally - and frankly, quite welcomely - do narrow down to the showcase of the submarine's countless variants and takes on its mechanical infiniteness and secretive interiors, yet satisfactory glimpses of majestic open waters are offered, too.

The basic buildup of Below recognizes and reveals these sweet potentialities according to their respective robust functions and significance, yet it even seeks out what elements could build tension up to ceiling levels, and surely, it gives you the cunning answers. The movie starts out while the crew gets instructions to help out a couple of survivors nearby, yet one person of this little trio turns out to be: a woman. This is bad news, as a woman is anything but a man, and, as such, has chance to give vivid ideas via her sheer presence. If one surprise would not suffice to one particular day, then the little group of newcomers will give us yet another, even a bigger one. Suffice it to say that a surprise big enough to reduce the number of newcomers from three to two is underway.

Below relies on a very stable screenplay that sports two or three focal turning points, showing us a story with a genuinely staggering punchline to it, while the least convincing appeals the output reaches out for are originating from good (?) old BOO! scare traditions, so the situation regarding this matter is similar here to the classic equation: once a BOO! scare's smell is in the air - and the simple biggest problem with BOO! scares is that their smell is always in the air, trust me - so you start to anticipate its peak moment with your fear registers turned to maximum all the while then there is no way you could be surprised. Below tries nevertheless, yet of course these cheap scares remain as but novelty items to support the more frightening and more robust drama both the story and the movie steadily and fortunately do give for you.

The primal portion of the fun we have signed on for here will be a massively haunted patrol deep beneath dangerous waters, and, as implied: Below does not have problem presenting us with a stable conclusion that reveals nice, comfy, coherent places for all puzzle pieces priorly presented or even just hinted at. The story therefore is quite decent, haunted only - hah! - by redundant, supportive scare mechanics which though remain quite easy to tolerate and to live with.

Biggest credit is due to the submarine's interior, I'd have to say. The mere place, the environment is the primal protagonist of this flick, a spatial/modal entity "whose" inherent nature is even more convincingly presented and emphasized by the great actors to take part in its mechanical reality, let alone the past the vessel have been "subjected to." Whether these quotation marks are to be taken seriously or not, the film informs you thoroughly of.

Best thing about Below is that simply NO bad actors are present in it. In fact, there are just good ones, I think. My favorite from the buildup is Holt McCallanay, giving you Loomis, while the Captain of the ship Bruce Greenwood is pretty good, too. Matthew Davis is just some goodie-guy character, one in every bush, truly. McCallanay and Greenwood are the key figures, I'd say, the other characters are quite strong supportive figures, oftentimes masterfully revealed comic book archetypes, even delivering highly original, badass oneliner dialogs on stable humor registers, carrying out acts to functionalize themselves as integral, intelligent elements of the setting. Surely this all should be natural, but it is not. Thus it is nice to see a movie in which: it is. Representatives of the crew do operate on the exact same channels you would cautiously anticipate them to, forming an easily approachable and likable community which you can, and probably, will care for during the film.

Same is the case with the leading roles. It is hard to decide whether McCallanay is giving you an arrogant sob here or simply represents supersolid authority, but this mere question proves how great of an actor he is: imagine how Lost - ahahah! - Matthew Fox would be in this role. In Below, I think that McCallanay has the charismatic touch of Clancy Brown's Kurgan portrayal, yet channels Brown used to give raw, rampant, naked emotions on becomes sobriety which demands obedience and quick actions to serve it in McCallanay's portrayal of Loomis. Since McCallanay actually can "play" that authentically it is not really a play: he becomes Loomis, which is the maximum we can anticipate from an actor, similarly high end quality performance you will witness from Bruce Greenwood to top it all. I think many practitioners of the craftmanship would look utterly laughable in such roles. Agree, Jack? Jack Lost it, haha! I think I will knock it off, though. Did I mention that Matthew Fox is not a mediocre actor? He is THE mediocre actor. At best. And I do consider him that because I am an immensely nice person. All in all, Below was a very pleasant and weighty surprise when it made its debut back in 2002, and it seems safe to say that neither its story nor its impressive execution lost anything of the inherent strength and sinister charm it firmly, timelessly offers and possesses.

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