(Review originally written at 28 February 2007)

Director David Twohy likes mixing different genre elements and fooling the viewers. This movie is no exception since it perfectly mixes both mystery and horror elements. You never know what to expect next, which helps to make this movie a pleasant and original one to watch.

The movie as a whole, though it comes close, never really works out quite fully, to be honest. The tension is lacking and in the end the movie doesn't explain enough, which perhaps causes the movie to leave an unsatisfying feeling in the end, with also some improbabilities because the things never get explained good enough. Nevertheless, it's the originality of the movie that causes this movie to still be a perfectly watchable one.

The movie has some good scare- and false-scare moments. The movie also has more horror tendencies than mystery or dramatic ones. It however doesn't mean that this is just your standard average simple horror movie, so many already got made of, during this decade. The mixture of the mystery elements and the war movie elements also causes the horror moments to become original and non-formulaic.

The submarine serves as a perfect claustrophobic backdrop for the movie its story. It certain en-chances the horror and it, again, also adds to the originality. My only complain about it would be that the submarine is too 'clean' and perfect looking. Same goes for the costumes and faces of the actors. But that could be perhaps just me, comparing every WW II submarine movie to "Das Boot". It's every WW II submarine movie and submarine movie's in general their curse to get immediately compared to "Das Boot".

The movie didn't had the highest of all budgets but that sort of is OK, since this normally always stimulates David Twohy's creativity to work. Nevertheless a movie like this one required to have a better budget and effects, mostly for the underwater sequences. It all is a bit too fake looking all to really take it serious enough. It also causes the underwater action to not really ever work out as spectacular and tense as intended to. The script (co-written by Darren Aronofsky by the way) and right intentions for it were there, just not always the right techniques and money.

The movie has a great cast, with not the best known names in it but great actor nonetheless such as Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams and Dexter Fletcher. The movie has many characters in it but it makes some good choices regarding them. It gives the right characters at the right moments screen time. It doesn't cause the movie to ever get unnecessarily confusing or hard to follow because of the many characters.

A great refreshing horror/mystery movie, set underwater.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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