The Descent

The Descent ★★★★½

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 reinforce each person's single character trait (the damaged one, the self-centred one, the hotheaded one, the sisters... erm... two).

Once the action starts though, none of that matters - and as The Descent goes on, the action gets piled on with more and more intensity until it's just a flailing mass of terrified limbs, lit by flares (note to directors: everything should be lit by flares from now on). And that's when it gets REALLY good. As well as the killer scares, tension and action, there are some beautiful shots toward the ending. Fantastic use of light, both from the flares and from nature's flare, The Sun.

I'm still not entirely sure what I think of the ending, but it's definitely going to stick in my head for a while, and that's never a bad thing. Good work on the "decent" film, Neil!

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