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…
The Descent is absolutely impeccable. Dread is instant, continuous, and ever-present. With an impressively strong cast, Neil Marshall amps up the character right alongside the scares, keeping a brilliant balance between wondrous development and and frightful terror. I haven't seen anything so beautifully claustrophobic, enclosing the frame with suffocating amounts of darkness, surrounding the characters with toxic hopelessness and feverish pain.
Neil Marshall's direction is a roller-coaster in celluloid form, slowly climbing to the absolute limit before dropping into a state of horrific chaos and godlike revenge. It's as if the film itself goes back in time, with the primal instincts and the tribal paintings releasing a built-up rage deep within the collective unconscious. The direction is simply transfixing.…
A driven, claustrophobic horror film. If you haven't seen it, you're wrong.
A flick that rides on the hope that you develop some connection or sympathy for the characters but it just ends up falling flat. The overall plot point of a rape victim, while of course being a traumatic experience and one that's rarely depicted correctly in any medium, feels eschewed the more you go along and with the aforementioned lack of character connection it feels like this depiction doesn't hold any weight to what it tried and set out to do. You can also say that the beasts in this are some type of depiction of a patriarchal force preying on women and making them feel invulnerable but honestly this is just one incredibly dull production that fails continuously. There…
Well, that was different! You normally have a bunch of guys out camping, with a few girls accompanying them. These girls are usually there as ephemeral eye candy, to be dispatched by the killer(s) before half the movie is done. Except for maybe “the heroine” (a serious virgin who’s a bit of an outcast), they’re all ditzy, easily scared and clumsy as hell. The Descent goes the opposite way. Six girls, no guys. All smart, capable and strong. Different personalities, strengths and weaknesses but more importantly, all individuals. They’re people with a story and not archetypes, there to entice viewers. That was great.
The camera work is impressive. With such narrow spaces as these caverns and tunnels can be, the…
I'm a tad bit claustrophobic so I might be a little biased when I say this movie scared me quite a bit.
everything in this movie was sort of just mediocre aside from the setting & the main villains, the "crawlers." I thought they pretty well done. they play on our natural fears. I'm glad they weren't like antagonists in other horror movies who stalk the main characters, trying to spook them the whole movie. they acted like animalistic hunters rather than psychopaths.
as for the setting, I thought it was fucking horrifying. imagine: you're in a relatively unknown cave, no one knows you're down there, you have no perceivable way out, and you're being stalked by pale, blood-thirsty creatures. like…
So. Which The Descent is better? Adventure thriller The Descent or horror film The Descent?
It's a debate that does seem to be had quite often by people who have reviewed this film or are discussing it and I find it to be a fascinating one. It's not often, after all, that you see genuine in-depth discussions take place about which half of the same film is better. Yet there is a lot to be debated on that point.
When I first saw this film (this is my third watch), I remember starting to get a bit anxious and on edge about the fact that the film had gone a clear 45 minutes and we hadn't had anything approaching a…
NOW THAT IS HOW YOU DO A FUCKING CREATURE FEATURE MOVIE.
The Descent touches on how much we really don't know about what lives in the deepest cracks and caves of this planet. Our nature is to wonder and explore, but what is the cost.
Descent touches on what price you may pay for the unknown.
"I'm an English teacher, not fucking Tomb Raider."
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…