As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below ★★½

Last night I saw a pair of horror movies: Annabelle then right afterwards this film. Annabelle was pretty bad, so I was thankful that this was at least better. I somehow had no knowledge of what the movie was about aside from the setting and it being the “beloved” genre of found footage horror. The focus being on the philosopher's stone and the home of Nicolas Flamel (a dude from the 1300's and 1400's who is alleged to have found the aforementioned stone, although there of course is controversy over those claims and how apparently that was only said about him a few hundred years after his death) was a surprise to me.

I do think that while the idea of a philosopher's stone that can cure any base metal to gold and can heal/give someone immortality a little silly, such things have been rumored, Flamel was a real figure who did live in Paris, and the Catacombs of the city are not only famous but also pretty creepy considering that it's the tomb for six million people... it does seem like a natural to combine those real life elements into a horror picture.

The plot is that a loose cannon young woman (who always runs headlong into things without a second thought, despite having more than one PhD) who wishes to continue her late father's search for the philosopher's stone. She discovers it's in the Catacombs so with two of her pals and some urban explorers, they go looking for it... but things go very wrong. It also gets quite ridiculous and preposterous.

What happens down there was not what I was expecting. It was a different more thoughtful way of doing a horror movie and in theory I am fine with those kinds of scares compared to the “creepy creatures” thing. I am just not sure if it was best for this movie and either way, it was not as effective or as horrifying as it could have been. Instead it was just average all around despite some effective moments and the general theme being fine. In terms of horror and found footage, being average isn't so bad when there is a lot of bad that can be seen.

Oh, as I am me I did laugh at how French it was at times, what with characters having names like Papillon, Souxie, La Taupe and Zed.

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