The Dark Below

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Maybe you, just as I, hold a special place in your
most visceral fear for being trapped under ice. It
is a pooling of panic, hopelessness and draining
cold. In icy water you have mere minutes. For each
second you feel your body growing numb while
your hands hit the ice again and again.

The Dark Below lets us face that nightmare, turned
into experimental survival horror. It begins with a
woman being overpowered and drugged. She gets
dressed in scuba-gear and dragged out onto the ice,
where floodlights are set up around an ominous
hole. She regains consciousness just as she is about
to be thrown in.

Normally, this kind of scene is reserved for the end
of a horror film. Here, it comprises the entirety.
The background story is revealed through short
flashes which, like the rest of the film, is virtually
free of dialogue. The film constructs its extreme
tension entirely via its cinematography, music and
physical acting. Imagine a final show down as a
sustained 70-minute climax, encapsulated in cold
and claustrophobia.

Joakim Sten

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