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…
Film #7 of Hoop-Tober.
I now understand why so many people claim this to be one of the best horror films of the 2000s. So frightening! It's about time a horror film from this era genuinely scared me and made me fell uneasy!
The film works very well a terrifying it’s audience because it has many different, yet equally frightening tools of fear within its near two hour running time. The first is a unique one, an all female cast, even though that fact is in my opinion as a horror aficionado also one of its most annoying flaws. It is an unspoken rule in the realm of the horror film genre for at least one scene of gratuitous nudity, and yet in this film, even with a cast of five different female characters, there is none, not even a quick underwear or show scene. Now I understand why, the director wanted to create and maintain five strong female role model Ellen Riply…
It's like The Hobbit's 'Riddles in the Dark', but what would happen if it took place in the real world.
Well-made, and at times legitimately scary, this is a recommended horror/thriller for any fans of claustrophobic movies, or cave movies in general. It doesn't really dig deep (huehue) enough into the themes about family and loss that it tries to develop, and only two of the characters are really interesting, but it's entertaining nonetheless.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, DEPENDING ON WHAT YOU CLASSIFY AS SPOILERS.
Maybe I didn't get it. Because all i got out of this movie was a slow and stupid first act, a solid second act, and a boring and predictable third act. The movie starts off trying to develop the characters but it doesn't really matter since its so dark in the caves you're idea of the characters will be "The two main ones and the interchangeable rest of the gang". Once they enter the cave the movie becomes a really good and intense claustrophobic movie. It works. But then as soon as the cave people show up it turns into a generic horror movie; predictable, cliched, and not scary. The ending is wholly unsatisfying and the shock surprise is lame. This movie had potential but it just gets lost.
Holly: Hey, there's something down here...
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ughhhhh the thing that freaks me out the most is when Sarah gets stuck. FUCK THAT. CLAUSTROPHOBIA. HELP. Also when Becca is monkey baring across the fucking ceiling of the cave and Holly's broken leg AGHHHHH. The creatures aren't even the scariest part even though they're fucking terrifying. Anyway, who doesn't like a bunch of babes with cool accents exploring caves amirite?! HAHA yea. I love this movie everyone should watch it.
The level of claustrophobia achieved is so intense, I may as well of been in the cave system myself.
"The Descent" is a masterclass in horror filmmaking. The prime characters are developed, the setting is beautifully established, and the scares are immensely effective.
My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…