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…
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.…
"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…
SECOND ENTRY in HOOP-TOBER Halloween List
"I'm an English teacher. Not Tomb Raider."
Wow! After showing this for the first time to three other friends, they all immediately said they had no desire to ever go inside a cave. While I haven't seen this film in at least 5 years, I remembered a few key scenes such as the staircase of skulls and a death or two. This is honestly a masterpiece, only with a handful of classic jumpscares, that manages to use suspense, darkness, and silence to perfection. The main character is sympathetic, and, as the climb deeper, her relationship along with her group begins to play out dramatically and makes you care as they develop. The creatures are…
#4/31 - 31 Days of Horror (2015)
A minimalistic horror movie with some great layers. First, the fear of the close, dark, mysterious cave in our human subconscious . Second, the psychology adventure between lose and friendship and betrayal. Third, the fight against the cruel nature.
I really love how authentic the female group was. Nobody was a pain in the ass. The movie takes time till the group enter the cave. This exposition makes it more personal at the movies end.
The movie´s color code is clever with red and green for the charakters emotions.
The movie was a surprise and i hope i will get such an intense feeling with the next horror movies in October.
Hoop-tober! Part eight.
Caving looks fun. As soon as this finished, I was off to the local activities centre to get myself down a cave AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Nah, I'm just messing with you. I'm never going outside again.
It took me quite a while to warm to this one. Though I enjoyed both Dog Soldiers and Doomsday (in VERY different ways, obviously), I'm not too keen on the dialogue or character building in Neil Marshall's films, and that's very much the same here. There's just something about the way his characters talk to each other that doesn't ring true for me, and the first half of this film is packed with conversations that do very little other than…
The film may be at its best when it's purely a fight for survival in its opening two acts but The Descent is scary, captivating and cleverly directed.
I tend to love horror movies that rely on tension rather than gore to drive their point home. This movie doesn't necessarily shy away from gore, but it does deliver mountains of justified tension and raw emotion.
It's shot beautifully. The first third of the film capitalizes on the picturesque shooting location, and gives viewers something other than the fact that they're watching a horror movie to enjoy. Just now looking back on it, the pacing felt natural and well thought out. This can be partially attributed to the the extremely talented cast. All of their performances flowed excellently. It was fun to watch what was once their initially bouncy camaraderie gradually thin throughout the film. All of them are…
Horrorthon 2015 - Movie #3
After scouring the internet for films to watch during my Horrorthon, one film that kept appearing on lists of overlooked horrors from the past decade was Neil Marshall's 2005 The Descent. I finally decided to check it out, not knowing much other than the basic premise: A group of international friends go spelunking and spooky goings-ons begin to occur.
I began not liking this film for the first 20 or so minutes, but when the group reach the cave, a deeply disturbing atmosphere is established as things go from bad to worse and I became hooked. The characters are flawed, but that's the point. This film is definitely psychological, in that its primary concern is…
Engraçado como o filme vai de um drama muito bem dosado pra um banho de sangue gore quase catártico. E apesar de ser uma entrega sem concessões das mais dignas (realmente, momentos divinos), é uma pena que o drama em si acaba ficando um pouco de lado, especialmente na resolução central entre as duas personagens. É um filme meio bipolar nesse sentido. Fica bem claro que o Marshall sabe fazer as duas coisas, só faltou amarrar tudo um pouco melhor pra ter um filmaço mesmo.
Fucking shit my pants, I cried out of fear through like 30% of this movie.
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…