For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Scream your last breath.
After a tragic accident, six friends reunite for a caving expedition. Their adventure soon goes horribly wrong when a collapse traps them deep underground and they find themselves pursued by bloodthirsty creatures. As their friendships deteriorate, they find themselves in a desperate struggle to survive the creatures and each other.
Neil Marshall's intoxicating claustrophobic horrific tale of a group of friends who pick the wrong caves to explore. White water fun. A wreck of a car wreck. Hospital scenes are usually sad. Girls enjoy beer too. Silly pajamas. Sarah's life is a "Hell on Earth" type of life with all the shit that happens to her at the beginning of the film. It's kinda ironic how her "own personal Hell" turns into so much more as the descent into the caves begin. Pictures are used to capture memories. Have you ever tried writing 1000 words for a picture? Try it one day. It's fun. Juno knows directions. A light on your helmet helps you see in the dark. Spooky bats.…
Neil Marshall’s The Descent is a horror film that smartly plays on the primal fears of its audience as a group of thrill-seeking women embark on a caving expedition which becomes a literal descent into hell. Marshall allows the story to play out gradually as the expedition turns from a tensely staged battle of endurance to out and out survival when the unsuspecting gang come face to face with the cave’s original inhabitants.
The film begins with a jolt of an opening as Shauna Macdonald’s Sarah loses her family in a freak car accident. It is an oft-used device but Marshall employs it brilliantly whilst allowing the first half to build naturally as the audience gets to know the characters.…
One of the most genuinely frightening & paranoia inducing films to come out in a long time, The Descent is an ingeniously crafted horror masterpiece that seamlessly intertwines its incredibly tense & cleverly paced story with inventive cinematography, tight editing, mesmerizing score & strong performances from its all-female cast to create an undeniably creepy atmosphere of unrelenting claustrophobia which eventually launches such an all-out assault on our senses that the ensuing events turn into nothing short of an escalating experience of nightmarish horror.
Inducing fear from its isolated look, grim tone & eerie mood rather than relying on typical jump scares, The Descent is the very definition of horror in its purest form and with its sinister plot & nerve-jangling adventure, easily qualifies as one…
The circumstances in which you watch a film influence your rating or experience a lot. The first time I watched this was in 2005 in a Sneak Preview. Neil Marshall was not a name firmly established among Dutch genre fans and even though I had seen Dog Soldiers, when I saw his name on the screen no bells were ringing. I sat in a theatre, not knowing what I was going to watch, surrounded by people as clueless as me. When the title appeared it didn't mean anything to me. Ususally, during a Sneak Preview there are murmurs of recognition when what we're going to watch is revealed. Here there was no recognition at all.
Slowly we were taken into…
"Love each day."
I'm back from my brief vacation, thankfully none of which involved free climbing in uncharted cave systems. It did involve a house in the woods though, so I decided the only proper way to kick off my free time was—of course—to attempt to shock myself into submission. How else am I supposed to have fun away from civilization?
I'm pleased to have survived my outing in the wilderness (there was really quite little risk of injury) to report that The Descent is a fantastically fun and quite exceptional horror film. It earns major Cool Points in a couple departments: it's a fairly low budget release (£3.5m) which never feels held back by its production, and it features…
Road to Halloween - Review #4 - The Descent (2005)
The Descent is an exceptionally good horror film and I'm so pleased it came out of Britain. Director Neil Marshall has created a tight and claustrophobic atmosphere while also adding the scares to create one of the most memorable horror films of the past couple of years. He's previously best known for Dog Soldiers and that's great example of a good low budget horror. It's very well directed and as someone who has claustrophobia I found myself uncomfortable and tightly packed in every scene even though I was sitting in the comfort of my home. Going into a cave would be my worst nightmare but after watching it I…
I realised that The Descent was really working when I noticed that I was inspecting every area of the screen that wasn't black to see if I could spot the crawlers, just like the characters in the movie who were looking around the caves trying to avoid the beasts.
The Descent is genuinely creepy and works not just as a scary film but as a film in general; performances are solid, and cinematography, lighting and editing are all done particularly well.
One thing I think is really clever about this film though is how it makes a bunch of different groups running around in the dark make sense. Our main group is all female, and they're all wearing very similar…
Full of creepy moments and lots of claustrophobia. Whack ending, though.
I dug this flick, nice change to have the whole gamut of horror movie type personas in an all female cast. Doesn't pussy out on the blood & violence because of it either. Nice. I'm a sucker for a good eye gouge too. Slight echoes of TCM there at the end? Reminiscent of Sally? All in all, great blood & gore
El Descenso o Alberto tiene razón al no querer hacer la ruta de las grutas de Calcetoc. No es por la posibilidad de aluxes carnívoros, porque esos son fáciles de dominar, no son más altos que Armando Mazanero, es la posibilidad de quedarme atorado en un pasaje estrecho, a obscuras y si, los aluxes carnívoros también serían un problema en esa situación.
Sobre The Descent, aburrida y no da miedo, y cuando se están comiendo a estas nenas, no se ve bien la acción. Además hay dos mujeres que me imagino sus anteriores roles fueron volvo-driving-soccer-mom, se llamaban Rebeca, o Sam, o Sara o quien sabe no me interesa.
Wow! I can assure you I will avoid caves...
This is quite easily one of the scariest films of all time. Combining elements of visceral monster terror, justified paranoia and simple claustrophobia, it’s hard to know what the most horrifying element is. Add in a truly awesome lead performance and some immaculate pacing, you have the makings of a modern horror classic.
Neil Marshall is an old school horror filmmaker who just gets it. He knows how to scare the viewer just as much as giving them a fun ride. The Descent is a non-stop in your face, blood and guts thrill ride with decent acting, simple plot, and an over abundance of great gore effects.
The lack of characterisation is the biggest problem here; in a sense, only one of the women is actually given any semblance of identifiable personality - The protagonist, who we quickly discover is dealing with the death of her husband and daughter, is ironically terrified of enclosed spaces and is overwhelmingly passive in comparison to the others. These few tiny details, that are admittedly translated to the audience very clearly, are all we are given to justify our emotional investment. The other characters are a blur of miscellaneous dialogue and half understood quips.
When the dying starts, you'll wonder who's who, who's dying and more generally, what's happening. You'll think the creatures are pretty disturbing at first in their sheer…
So my cousins and i decided to watch this outside because my cousin lives in the middle of nowhere and it was great. My cousins got scared and while most thanksgivings we sleep outside, they all were so scared we slept on the floor inside. And my earlier theory of this being just like Kill Bill was confirmed when my brother said "she looks like Uma Thurman. " so hell yeah
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Lilya 4-Ever
- Life Is Beautiful
- Dancer in the Dark
My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…