Creature Below, The. Rises Above with Story and Concept
Creature Below, The. receives the DecayMag Premier Award for excellence in narrative and performances. Creature concept and practical effects are superb in achievement.
Director: Stewart Sparke
Release Date: February 28, 2016.
Release Format: DVD AND VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Running Time: 1h 23min
During a traumatic accident on a deep-sea dive, Olive, a gifted, young marine biologist discovers an unearthly creature. Losing her dream job, Olive smuggles the creature home, intent on studying it in secret, unbeknownst to her devoted boyfriend Matt and estranged sister Ellie.
Plagued by gruesome nightmares, her fractured memories of what happened during the accident in the depths of the ocean begin to unravel, revealing her symbiotic bond with an eldritch horror far older and malevolent than she could possibly imagine, one which drives her to carry out its sinister will, with deadly results for those around her.
The Creature Below is an excellent story that chronicles many facets of human sentiments. Resulting consequences to said emotions is the base to this plot.
The film at the surface centers on a creature of unknown origin. Yet, The Creature Below delves more into a look at ourselves, humans as the unknown. Nature, as a whole and its mysteriousness have dominance as a narrative component.
The theme of man versus nature is a standard in Horror cinema. Yet, man’s obsession with power through nature is an emerging fresh concept. The Creature Below offers the latter with full force.
Many examples in science fiction Horror finds the protagonist aiming to be a deity. Through the mysteries of nature, man finds a way to tap into the power. The beast in The Creature Below is not the threat. It is an instinct for survival. It is a metaphorical interpretation. For human’s and our desire for power, what is our excuse?
The Creature Below as a concept treks into the theme of human interference with nature. This notion although common offers original interpretations when presented. Paul Butler and Stewart Sparke collaborated on writing the screenplay. The duo constructed an imaginative plot, a successful in-depth analysis of curiosity gone awry.
From ACT I to ACT III The Creature Below keeps a compelling and frightening pace. To clarify, the latter does not signify a trek into Horror as a centerpiece. The terror involves emotions rather than scare factor.
The monster concept is unique and stands as a prominent supporting lead. The intriguing aspect lies in witnessing the stages to the monster’s growth. Introduced, the creature starts out as an egg and develops into a gargantuan cephalopod. A highlight is the exceptional use of practical effects in bringing the creature to life. Acclaim goes out to the talents behind the monster design. Few instances, including the final reveal, used CGI to enhance the monstrosity.
The gore factor is of high quality. Dismemberment, blood, and carnage have presence both subtlety and boldly. Each exhibition is artistic and offers a sense of realism.
The Creature Below is a production with solid performances. Anna Dawson delivers as memorable role as Olive Crown. Dawson’s brings her character many aspects of human emotion to life. Jealousy, desperation, and greed are what transform this mild-mannered woman.
Actor Zacharee Lee delivers an intense on-screen presence. Lee brings a villainous enactment to the role of Dr. Fletcher. He succeeds in creating a character the audience can detest. That in itself is fine acting. Actress Michaela Longden‘s role as Ellie Crown does not develop until ACT III. It is at this point audiences can appreciate the emotional intensity Longden offers. In fact, Longden’s role does not have definitive spotlight till the latter part of the film.
Stewart Sparke uses rich computer-generated backdrops for this film. This may or may not appeal to some viewers. It depends on the appreciation of CGI as a production staple. Some of the scenes looked amazing with the added computer-generated effects. For example, the ship trekking across the vast ocean and the underwater scene are superb. Yet, the scenes that lack naturalness are the vessel sabotage and the vessel arriving at the port.