THE CREATURE BELOW (2016) Reviews and worth watching


‘In the depths of our oceans something has awoken’

The Creature Below is a 2016 British science fiction horror feature film about a young scientist whose discovery of a malevolent entity sets her on a bloody descent into the jaws of insanity.

The Dark Rift Films production was the feature debut of director Stewart Sparke (Book of Monsters; shorts: Margaret in the Zombie Apocalypse; Rats!) and writer Paul Butler.

“We want the viewer to feel the stomach curdling dread of knowing that there are unfathomable creatures slumbering in the dark places of the world and see the consequences if we wake them” writer Paul Butler says of the story they are telling. “Our love of monster movies was a big influence when writing the script and I think fans of creature features will be very pleased with what we have in store for them”.

Director Stewart Sparke has explained why gore fans and devotees of old school practical creature effects will find something to enjoy: “We knew that practical effects were the key to bringing our slimy monster to life in a way that would make Lovecraft proud. Buckets of blood, guts and tentacles punctuate moments of immeasurable dread as our creature grows in size and appetite.”


During a traumatic accident whilst on a deep-sea dive in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Olive, a gifted, young marine-biologist discovers an unearthly creature. Losing her dream job, Olive smuggles the creature home, intent on studying it in her basement, unbeknownst to her loving boyfriend Matt.

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Whilst struggling to re-adjust to landlocked life and recover from her recent trauma, Olive begins to realise that she and the creature share a symbiotic bond that drives her to carry out its sinister will.


Plagued by gruesome nightmares, her fractured memories of what happened during the accident in the depths of the ocean begin to unravel and reveal an eldritch horror far older and malevolent than she could ever imagine, one which she has unwittingly set free.

Olive’s obsession leads to madness as her discovery consumes her entire humanity, with deadly results for those around her…


“With solid technical work at all levels, The Creature Below is a triumph. Its final shot undermines its impact a little, but will have festival crowds cheering; there is the occasional weak supporting performance, but the main actors are uniformly impressive. Fewer than one in a hundred first features comes together this well.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

The Creature Below has aspirations of being an emotionally-driven character drama within a monster movie skin but the relationships, characters and dialogue fail to convince enough to pull it off. The film takes itself far too seriously for what it is, and could have overcome certain failings were it to embrace a little creature feature silliness.” Scream magazine


“If you can get past the choppy CGI […] and get into the slowly smoldering mood, which may be a higher hurdle for some, The Creature Below can be oddly intoxicating. It’s a small-scale production confined to a single location for a large part of its duration, with only a half-dozen essential speaking parts. Yet its tone is mostly on the mark…” Culture Crypt

” …a surprisingly grim Lovecraftian affair. Dark and moody, it offers little by way of levity – but also suffers with a corresponding lack of spark in its script. Rather than being tense and disturbing, it often feels plodding and morose – which is a shame, as the horror here is very much delivered with a focus on stark, classical style and when it works, it works very well indeed.” Dread Central

” …a peculiar blend of Alien (monstrous hatchlings), Basket Case (“What have you got in your basement?”) and Hellraiser (woman lures humans as food for her loved one). The Creature Below may be pointing the way towards a grand cataclysm, but then, maternity is transformative, and having children is always the end of the world as their parents know it.” Projected Figures


Main cast and characters:

  • Anna Dawson … Olive Crown
  • Michaela Longden … Ellie Crown
  • Daniel Thrace … Matthew Gardiner (as Daniel S. Thrace)
  • Johnny Vivash … Dara
  • Zacharee Lee … Doctor Fletcher (as Zach Lee)
  • Libby Wattis … Mrs. Jones
  • David Shackleton … Herbert
  • Cal O’Connell … Ship’s Doctor (as Callum O’Connell)
  • Lyndsey Craine … Nurse
  • Paul Toy … Waiter
  • Natalie Roe … Ship’s Crew
  • Simon Brodie … Ship’s Crew
  • Harry Caspian Lee … Ship’s Crew / Restaurant Customer (as Harry Lee)
  • Paul Butler … Ship’s Crew / Hospital Patient
  • Dave Jameson … Ship’s Crew

Filming locations:

Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England

York, North Yorkshire, England


The Creature Below had its world premiere at the Horror Channel FrightFest film festival in London on 27 August 2016.

In North America, the film was unleashed on DVD and VOD on February 28, 2017, via Breaking Glass Pictures. A British DVD was released on 26th June 2017.

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