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Cast: Lauren Mae Shafer, David G.B. Brown, and Veronica Cartwright
A woman struggles for survival beneath a frozen lake while a serial killer stalks her from the surface.
As "The Dark Below" opens we see a man who is attacking a woman, he then drags her outside into the freezing cold. He drags her over to an opening in the ice where he fits her with some scuba gear and then he drops her into what seems to be her watery grave.
As you can tell the story line is very simple which means I am not going to go into great detail as far as the plot goes so not to ruin the film for those wanting to see it. The great thing about the story is it doesn't spend its entire run time focusing on the woman in the water and the man standing over her like the poster might suggest. Instead it tells the complete story, from the time the two meet all the way up to where the film begins through the use of flashbacks.
The synopsis alone might make the film sound a bit boring but it is anything but that. One of the unique things about the film is it has nearly no dialogue at all in it. There are a few words muttered at the beginning but that is it. The film relies mainly on its two terrific performances, its chill inducing setting and a score that is at times haunting and it plays a big part in creating the right atmosphere for each and every scene of the film.
"The Dark Below" is a one of a kind thriller that has a relatively short run time coming in at an hour and 15 minutes but it does not waste a second of its time on scenes that are not needed. It is also jammed packed with suspense, tension and mood. The film was shoot on a low budget and it does have a few flaws story wise but over all this is an impressive Independent film that makes up for its weaknesses with a great cast and fantastic atmosphere.
When you have no dialogue in a film you better have actors that can pull the audience in and this film certainly does. Lauren Mae Shafer is amazing as Rachel, the woman who must survive the frozen water while hoping to some how get away. David G.B. Brown is also terrific as the madman, Ben. The more the story moves along the more you learn just how sick and twisted this guy is. The rest of the supporting cast did a great job as well.
"The Dark Below" grabbed my attention from its opening scene and it kept me interested and engaged the entire way leading up to the film's thrilling climax that will have you pumped full of adrenaline as you cling to the edge of your seat.
The film opens on Friday, March 17th in L.A. and Friday, March 24th in NYC, with additional cities following suit. There is a lot to like about the film but one of the best things about it is how original and different it is from anything else in theaters today. If you like a good thriller or are just looking for something other than the same old stuff that comes out every week then you need to go check this out.
"The Dark Below" is a suspenseful, claustrophobic thriller that will send chills down your spine. It is the new name in fear. I cannot close out this review unless I give mention and credit to Writer/Director, Douglas Schulze. Schulze has a track record of creating original films and he does it once again. The film was Co-written by Jonathan D'Ambrosio.
Released by Parade Deck Films
**** Out Of *****