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 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.…
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…
Part of **Halloween Season 2012**.
I'm a big dude, and I get wedged into things easily. So the pure claustrophobia of a film set in dark caves sets me up for true horror. Plus, the filmmaker understands that the biggest scares are the ones we don't see. And this one is pretty damned scary.
These days, "horror" films tend to be about gore or stupid people doing stupid things. They don't frighten as much as tittilate, tease, and once in awhile make you jump. But though this picture has plenty of gore, its characters are for the most part not stupid. They do the best they can in a situation that is -- mostly -- not of their making. And…
One of the BEST British horror films, I have ever seen, I can't even tell you how many people I forced to watch this with me. They thank me, all the time.
I actually almost died before watching this, I was making a sandwich and I heard, I guess the preview coming on in my room, and I BOOKED it to the room to watch it for the 10 millionth time, still to this day I don't know why I ran as fast as I did just to watch the preview, but, I fell flat on my stomach and I couldn't breathe and started bugging the fuck out LOL. So I almost died, just because of the preview...THAT SAYS SOMETHING.…
The best British Horror film of the noughties. Neil Marshall's superb Brit Shock Horror "The Descent" is chilling, creepy and full of suspense. It's packed full of shocks, not just run of the mill cheap tricks, these are great shocks, perfectly timed with fantastic twists. This was just what the genre needed. It withstands multiple watches and has become a firm favourite of mine. If all else fails... Stick The Descent on.
A group of young women go on a caving expedition that goes horribly wrong and they soon become lost in an uncharted cave system. As panic escalates they come across some strange and very dangerous creatures. Here begins a fight for survival. This is a very accomplished Horror…
As hit and miss as he has been, director Neil marshall makes you sit up and listen. None more so than with the opening 90 seconds of the Descent, smacking you around the mouth with an act so hideous you're literally left speechless.
This is something that could, at any time, happen to any of us, so if he's doing this to us now what on earth could he possibly have in store for us later on?
Marshall, on the advice of his better half (so he has learnt he SHOULD listen when women speak!!) went completely against the norm in a movie of this kind and opted for an entire female cast. His previous effort "Dog Soldiers" had been…
Los planos de dentro de la cueva son completamente claustrofóbicos. Personajes femeninos interesantes y bien perfilados, terror real hasta que llegan los sustos fáciles. Pero en su gran mayoría, es increíble donde planta la cámara y como así crea la sensación de compartir cueva con ellas.
Claustrophobia, blood, sweat, tears and air fisticuff's too numerous to count from the comfort of my recliner! I'm mentally and physically exhausted after watching this non stop theater of carnage and bone crunching thrills!
The perpetual edge of your seat moments gave me a cramp in my calves and backside! My eyes are dry and agitated! I was so caught up in the film I either forgot to blink or I was so afraid I'd miss something if I blinked!
I definitely deserve a I survived a viewing of The Descent T-shirt!
A simple concept used hyper-effectively. Impressively shot, paced incredibly well, claustrophobic, tense and really spooky the whole way through. Enjoyed it a lot; I won't be going caving any time soon.
Genuinely scary throughout, although I preferred the first hour or so before things got loud and jumpy. The claustrophobia-inducing caves were scary enough. Ended up liking the Michelle Rodriguez character more than the main girl, though, so had mixed feelings about the ending.
With the first couple of minutes and the accident that occurred in them, I was hoping this wouldn't be some type of Final Destination type of death scenes movie. Good thing it wasn't. They picked a great place for this horror movie, caves, and did them well seeing as how claustrophobic I felt in some parts. With the first half being used to set up the second half and show how all the characters are, even though it wasn't the best and most enjoyable 50 minutes, it was entertaining enough. Then when the shit hits the fan, it really does hit the fan.The creatures, while not the best ones ever seen in a horror film, are good enough. I guess Gollum got tired of just doing Lord of the Rings movies. I actually liked the hopeless ending they showed but that's probably just because I like dark endings for some movies. Also fuck you Juno, its all your fault.
an intriguing and claustrophobic horror. the characters and relationships aren't necessarily the most sketched out, and the performances are somewhat amateurish, but the setting makes up for the faults in eeriness alone.
Spelunking seems like a bad idea
Even on a second watch, The Descent reduced me to a quivering wreck on the sofa. The film is so nerve-shreddingly tense I almost chewed through the cushion I was hiding behind. The crawlers don't even turn up until almost an hour in, but that build up is proper edge of the seat stuff as our six pot holing heroines get thoroughly lost two miles underground. And as for that scene where the audience gets its first view of one of the crawlers through a night vision video camera - nightmare-inducing stuff.
Hands down, one of the best horror films of the last 10 years.
A rare gem in the horror genre, combining both our natural fear of claustrophobia with dungeon dwelling monsters. Excellent acting and great direction and cinematography certainly puts this film on the top pedestal where it belongs.
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