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…
Road to Halloween - Review #4 - The Descent (2005)
The Descent is an exceptionally good horror film and I'm so pleased it came out of Britain. Director Neil Marshall has created a tight and claustrophobic atmosphere while also adding the scares to create one of the most memorable horror films of the past couple of years. He's previously best known for Dog Soldiers and that's great example of a good low budget horror. It's very well directed and as someone who has claustrophobia I found myself uncomfortable and tightly packed in every scene even though I was sitting in the comfort of my home. Going into a cave would be my worst nightmare but after watching it I…
I considered not mentioning it, you know. Maybe, I thought, maybe it would be noble of me to completely ignore it and not mention its significance. After all, if I ignored it I would heavily imply that it’s not an issue and that’s where I would like it to be ideally. The main cast of “The Descent” is entirely female and at no point did it ever feel unnatural. Of course, the truth of the matter is that it is unnatural for horror movies to have such an emphasis on an all-female cast that keeps its “personal belongings” personal, but at no point did it ever feel weird or forced and the characters that are weak are not weak because…
Frankly, if you go potholing (or spelunking to give it its slightly pervy-sounding American name), you kinda deserve to be eaten by cave dwelling monsters. What's wrong with these people?
I don't understand the love affair with this movie (85% on rotten tomatoes). Was it the all female cast or the British accents or do people just like caves? Just another "checklist" movie that was boring and predictable.
One of the few truly visceral and terrifying horror movies to come out in the last decade. Neil Marshall flexes an entirely new set of muscles.
A fun horror movie to watch, acting is meh, scares are meh, I laughed when the daughter died in the first 5 minutes ( because it's was really stupid how she died), the creatures aren't really memorable. Just a movie to turn of you brain.
I do like The Descent but I don't think I quite see in it what everyone else seems to. I think it's good but nothing special.
Always keep your eyes open.Unflinching.Relentless Assault.Disgusting.Claustrophobic.Babe kicking Ass.Adrenaline Rush.
The first and third acts are innane and silly, respectively. However, the second act creates a pretty gripping sense if confinement. Worth the watch just for that.
Watching the Descent with a group of people that are seeing it for the first time is the best thing ever. There's something about seeing a person almost jump out of their skin that puts a smile on my face. I guess I'm a bit of an ass.
The more I watch this movie, the more awesome I think it is. It's impossible not to feel the things these women are feeling when they're down in the caves. The initial excitement, the uncertainty, the claustrophobia, and then the downright terror. All before the creatures even come on screen. Once they do, it's a kick ass bloodbath til the end. And I love it.
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- Miami Blues
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- Once Upon a Time in the West
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I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
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- Dancer in the Dark
- Christiane F.
My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)