Film Review of ‘The Dark Below’

The film depicts a woman’s struggle for survival in a frozen lake in Douglas Schulze’s near-silent horror film.Flim Review of 'The Dark Below'

Pedestrian execution undercuts the advance concept of Douglas Schulze’s near-silent horror film. The film is about a young woman trapped in a freezing lake by a determined killer. While it’s challenging setup sounds like it could make for an agitative and original thriller, The Dark Below never lives up to its promise, but it earns points for originality.

The story starts Rachel (Lauren Mae Shafer) who is being attacked by a burly man (David G.B. Brown) who distempers her, inserts a drug down her throat and puts her in a wet suit. He then forcefully takes her outside a cabin to a frozen lake, where he outfits her with an empty oxygen tank and pushes her underwater. The idea behind this scene is to make Rachel look like an incident.

Being desperate women Rachel fights for survival, flashbacks shows that her attacker is her husband, she also has a child and that being a serial killer was evidently one of his aspects that she somehow lost in their relationship. The other important character in this film is the Rachel’s mother, she’s played by genre veteran Veronica Cartwright (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), who presents the film’s best performance.

Most of the scenes reveal that Rachel is struggling to breathe in the small area between the ice-cold water and the frozen surface, having to retreat underwater every time when her attacker spots her and does not allow her to escape. But the actual scenes are not as suspenseful as one would think of, demonstrating dully repetitive inspite of the 75- minute running time.

Pieces of conversation heard during the flashback scenes are dull and unclear, yet the general platitude of the situations won’t cause strain while hearing them

The Dark Below also faces plot credibility issues and an overwhelming musical score which make up for the lack of verbiage. Horror film lovers need to check it out for the novelty factor and boldness of its approach, and lead actress Shafer surely deserves credit for her aggravated physical exertions.


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