The Descent ★★★½

It's worth it for That Shot in the blood river. It's pretty good in a lot of other ways too, but I think I was subconsciously waiting for that more than anything else.

The premise and writing do some pretty heavy lifting, so much so that you can forgive some of the goofy fight choreography and the early fake jump scares. Those dumb CGI bats and all the fake screams tied to a cut are reeeaaally eye-roll inducing now. I think people don't give enough credit to 2010's horror where at least all the horror getting good press is free of cats jumping in front of the camera and a big scare sting, because going back to even the highly regarded mid-2000s fare is rough. On the flip side, "The Descent" using 6 women protagonists and an unfamiliar setting lets it get away from the trope laden rest of the decade, and there's still few of these types of movies today.

In general you feel like you can forgive lots of aspects when looking back. The design of the creatures, the big carved out space, that early bit. At the time I was sort of making an informal list of all the tidbits, the loose ends that tickle your brain, but all feels forgiven now.

The imparted claustrophobia, the dedication to setting, even the characterization and the "twist", all of that works wonders. "The Descent" is exactly as frenzied as it needs to be, and that gives you far too much new and interesting to care that there's some vestigial bits.