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.…
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…
"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 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…
The best films typically leave you with one or two reactions. Either you sit there gob smacked, dumbfounded by what has just hit your brain or you immediately attempt to figure out what it all means. Cleverly crafted films like The Descent never provide an easy answer, or reveal any one specific interpretation, throwing it out for the ravenous genre buffs to dissect and arrive at their own conclusions,
It's surprising that there aren't more horror films set in underground caverns and caves as they lend themselves perfectly toward the genre. For films working on a budget it removes so many issues and provides an instant atmosphere not easily found elsewhere. That all important tension and fear of what lurks…
What happens when a posse of attractive British women decide to go spelunking and encounter a clan of nude, cannibalistic Nosferatu lookalikes. The Descent happens, evidently.
It has it's stupid moments, one of which being the opening scene where the protagonist's family dies in a car crash. Director Neil Marshall decides that's "too plain" and has a set of blunt cylindrical objects go flying from the other car into the main character's husband. He's impaled, and blood squirts everywhere. Why can't they have just died in the collision? Is there a need for even more gore?
Then, the film begins to pick up when the women are trapped inside a cave. Of course, in turns out that they don't actually…
Unfortunately, I felt this may have been the most overrated horror flick that I watched in a long time. The whole movie made the impression on me, as if the the director himself didn't sense what elevated his story to being interesting in the first place: the setting! In its best moments the movie pulls you in with an impressively narrow scenery and expertly set lighting. However, this visual claustrophobia only lasts around 20 minutes, before it dives right into a sudden change to the worse with its biggest flaws being way to explicit than needed and degrading the essential value of the caves as a setting for the plot. Instead of going with its subtle horror and…
Nicht so toll ^^
After going to see "As Above, So Below" and being mildly disappointed with it, I thought it would be a good idea to go watch a much better "trapped underground with monsters" movie.
I hadn't watched "The Descent" in some time. And upon this rewatch I saw why: because this movie scares the bejeezus out of me. That has a lot to do with the fact that I think being trapped in a cave or something akin to that to be the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to someone. Nevertheless, "The Descent" is one of those really rare horror movies that actually succeeds at being scary.
Side note: try, if possible, to catch the film with its original ending. The U.S. ending takes away a lot of the films punch.
Brilliant movie the first 1/5th of its run time when it's all about that claustrophobia: I've rarely felt so engaged in a movie when they were going through the tunnels and they started to crumble a bit.
Then it all goes to waste. Especially the ending. Disappointing.
A group of friends gets trapped in an uncharted cave system, what could possibly go wrong? It's not like these caves are inhabited by an entire race of cave dwelling creatures with a taste for human flesh... Right?
First of all this film genuinely terrified me. I could barely muster up enough courage to get past the fucking DVD menu. That right there folks is the sign of a good ol' horror film (or a huge coward but eh, it's most likely the first one). Of course the terror didn't stop when the actual film started, as soon as our characters enter the cave it feels like I'm right there with them. It's poorly lit, it's cramped, it's filthy and…
Takes a while to get going and when the scares come you do jump out of your seat..............a couple of times but once it gets going it becomes a bit of a messy film at points but there's strong performances guiding it.
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My six hundred favorite films (1940-2014); 615-636 are not ordered yet.