I heard "Below" through headphones, which highlighted the aural nature of the experience. Nothing places you deeper inside the belly of a submarine than those inscrutable underwater sounds that can preface life-threatening danger. The logical leaps the characters are willing to make toward the supernatural may induce some eye-rolling but they get points for never fully believing it either. Imperfect but engaging.
This Darren Aronofsky co-written/co-produced submarine, ghost story contains the usual genre archetypes but is unique enough. While the twists here predictably adhere to the subgenre's tropes, and this slackens its hold, the use of a clever and authentic-feeling setting makes it a fair effort. Also, the playful personality of its large cast, and some memorably tense wartime scenes will keep audiences watching.
Even if the story is a bit loopy, this movie is so well shot that it's quite enjoyable. The jargon seems believable, and the camerawork is precise. I don't know how they handle that kind of claustrophobia.
Far from perfect, the movie's strengths lie in it's unique genre manipulation and genuine creepiness at times. The plot is nothing spectacular or too shocking, but the creativeness is still present in most every shot, aside for some unnecessary effects.
Just like 'The Devil's Backbone' the year before, this film explores the evil that people do moreover than it's supernatural elements. Although it seems like an old fashioned ghost story, every weird event can be explained as being a result of the failing air supply. Despite it's low budget & TV look, it sports fantastic production design, stylish lighting, & fine performances. Intriguing, tense, & clever.