3/10
"I've never seen that leg before in my life." Rubbishy horror/adventure.
24 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Evil Below starts on 'The Straits of San Sebastian 1683' as the 17th century treasure ship the El Diablo sinks in a violent thunderstorm. Jump to 'The Straits of San Sebastian Present Day' where two divers are exploring the beautiful underwater coral reefs that are rich in wildlife, the come across the sunken wreck of the El Diablo & explore it but are attacked & killed by something that looks like a vicious eel. Captain Max Cash (Wayne Crawford) owns & runs a boat-for-hire named the 'Vagrant Viking' which caters for tourists who want to fish, dive & generally explore the islands. Sarah Livingstone (June Chadwick) is an art teacher who dives for treasure as a hobby (well we all have to do something to pass the time right?), she hires Max & his scantily clad assistant Tracy (Sheri Able) so she can try to locate the El Diablo & get rich. Talk of sunken treasure excites some of the more unscrupulous members of the local community, as they dodge the criminals & thugs it is brought to Max & Sarah's attention that the El Diablo has a sinister past, a past that supposedly still leaves it's supernatural legacy behind even now...

Directed by Jean-Claude Dubois, according to the IMDb with a little help from star Crawford although the version I saw only listed Dubois, I thought The Evil Below had some potential & is a bit different but unfortunately that's not enough to save it from sinking to the bottom of the sea like a stone. The script by Arthur Payne starts off OK with the two divers being killed by some sort of sea creature but this opening is NEVER referred to again, the creature is NEVER seen again & there are no more supernatural killings. The Evil Below then suffers from a serious & terminal case of identity crisis, it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be as it chucks bits & pieces of various genres in there from underwater adventure, horror, action, thriller, crime & it even has time to throw in a little murder mystery & religious nonsense as well. As a result The Evil Below feels very bitty, fragmented & since the best scene in the entire film is the opening sequence I found myself sat there becoming more & more frustrated at the lack of any consistent horror as it went downhill rapidly & the fact we never see the sea creature thing again. The Evil Below is dull, slow, uneventful, predictable, silly & lacks any sort of charm or intelligence, in short The Evil Below doesn't do anything right that a good film should.

Director Dubois fails to liven things up although he obviously shot plenty of underwater wildlife material as at times I thought I was watching a National Geographic documentary with all the shots of fish, coral & the wildlife in general. Forget about any gore, some blood stained water & blood coughing is about as gory as it gets I'm afraid.

Technically The Evil Below is very basic, it's bland & totally forgettable apart from nice underwater photography of fish. This is point & shoot stuff & as a whole the production values are very low, even the place where this was shot doesn't look very sunny or appealing. The acting is poor, but then again did you expect anything else?

The Evil Below is a poor film, it's basic story is all over the place & it can't decide what it wants to be & as a result it ends up being a mess. Add that to the low production values, the fact there's no gore here & absolutely minimal horror content you have a film that is probably best avoided unless your absolutely desperate & even then surely there are better ways to spend 90 plus minutes of your life...
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