Abysses: the best horror film in a submarine (the only one in fact)

With Abysses, David Twohy dive into the deep end of the submarine movie while navigating the waters of the paranormal. Chills guaranteed.

Like John Carpenter, David Twohy has always tried to preserve his artistic independence by keeping his distance from the Hollywood studio system. After signing in the 1990s Timescape, the passenger of the future and The Arrivaltwo relatively confidential films, he stood out with Pitch Blackone of the best heirs of the Alien by Ridley Scott, who introduces the character of Riddick (Vin Diesel), a genius antihero reminiscent of Snake Plissken, the iconic Carpenterian outlaw.

The surprise success of this first part – will then follow The Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick – places him in the crosshairs of the brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who then reign supreme on the cinema planet. He thus finds himself propelled to the controls ofAbyssesreplacing Darren Aronofsky, who continues to participate in the project as a co-screenwriter, and on paper, the promises of an underwater film mixed with the supernatural are enough to make your mouth water.

But difficult to stay the course with the two hideous producers on his back. Fortunately, despite the pressure and the spectacular sinking of the film at the box office, Twohy gives birth to a unique model of its kind.

Your attention, please, it’s going to sink!


World War II and submarines have often gone hand in hand on the big screen, and there are plenty of examples, starting with The boat of Wolfgang Petersen who acts as a master stallion in the field. Abysses continues this tradition by setting its plot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, aboard the USS Tiger Shark, an American submarine which, faced with the onslaught of the German fleet, has no choice but to sink into the depths. And we give it to you in a thousand, what the characters will find there will not please them (at all).

The tension thus arises from the ubiquity of the threat, which lurks above and below the surface, and Twohy does not need to deploy the heavy artillery in order to instil a feeling of permanent danger. All it takes is a periscopic view of a German building, looming in the distance like an infernal machine, or light flashes simulating the explosion of grenades to immediately believe in the malevolent presence of the attackers. The enemy thus already appears in a ghostly way, announcing the nature of the Evil which will gradually persecute the members of the crew.

Chasms: photo, Bruce GreenwoodThe superiority complex summarized in a plan

This economy of effects mobilizes the imagination of the spectator, who wonders like the protagonists about all the disturbing phenomena around, like these strange noises against the cabin or outside the submarine. We must recognize the filmmaker a real talent for resourcefulness. Rather than going to shoot in the Atlantic, he manages, for example, to recreate the illusion of the open sea by filming on Lake Michigan, and to build a replica of the submarine twenty times larger than the real model in order to remain in control. of its cutting.

Abysses: the best horror film in a submarine (the only one in fact)