Below

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My son camped aboard the USS Silversides (SS 236) in Muskegon, Michigan, this past weekend with his Boy Scout troop. Its the second time he’s overnighted aboard the retired WW2 Gato-class boat, and he’s taken the tour a couple of other times, too.

This year, he wanted to watch the film Below before the campout, as part of the movie had been filmed aboard the Silversides. We got the DVD via Netflix and checked it out and I’m glad we did. It’s a sort of thriller-type movie about a WW2 sub that picks up survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship. The sub is apparently haunted by the ghost of her former skipper, who died earlier in the patrol, and a German destroyer seems to have an uncanny ability to track them down. A young officer suspects that some of his superiors have something to hide about the death of the captain, and things basically go downhill from there.

Although I’m not convinced that the diving suits used by some characters during a repair attempt are accurate, the movie seems to be mostly believable from a technical and historical perspective, something rather unusual for Hollywood military films. They intentionally go down to 600 feet, which I think is quite a bit deeper than actual standard capabilities, though. Not a truly great watch, and certainly not a high-intensity terror flick, but I thought it was worth a couple of hours.

If anyone has a comment about the diving suits, post it.