The Descent

The Descent ★★★★½


Interesting to make a horror movie that takes place entirely in a cave. Although it wasn’t shot in a real cave, but instead a built cave set. I imagine it would be hard to come up with enough ways to film it, but this movie does more than enough to stretch out into a 90+ minute-long feature. There’s elements of an adventure film with a mystery element or something like Lost.

The Descent is constantly rewarding. There’s a shocking opening, followed by a realistic cave diving experience like Man vs. Wild. It does a lot to stay interesting within that short runtime. The characters have realistic relationships with each other that makes the drama is impactful. My favorite character is Juno, she’s somewhat made to be the antagonist but you’re also rooting for her because she didn’t really do anything wrong. It’s crazy how the characters turn on each other as they descend deeper into the cave.

There’s an interesting dynamic between the two main characters, Juno and Sarah. Sarah is trying be emotionally content with her life and move on from the past. Juno wants to hold on to her youth and endure on a new adventure, and also trying make up for her wrongs in the past. Juno is an athlete and is physically strong, but more fragile emotionally.

The fantastic use of color stands out as the best part of the film. Flares, glowsticks, and flashlights drastically change the tones as they’re used to light the caves. Sometimes it’s hard to see because it’s so dark, but there’s just enough light so you can see what’s happening.

On top of all that this a good horror movie, being in a cave feels paranoid and claustrophobic, and we want these characters to get out. But the more they progress, it doesn’t feel like they’re getting any closer to escape, only descending further into the abyss.

— creative
— thrilling
— well paced
— eerie music/ good sound design

“Down the Pipe” by David Julyan (The Descent soundtrack)

— all female cast in 2005 (and doesn’t make a big deal about it)
— strong horror elements



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