The Descent


One review claimed is the best horror movie since Alien, which is a huge shoe to fill. It may or may not be loosely loosely based on a Clifford Long novel by the same name (both involve caves, creatures in caves, and "first contact". Long's novel, however, involves a much larger scope and a historical precidence for Satan). I personally took it more as a horror update for Deliverance. At any rate, it is good.

I could not tell you a single actor from the movie, since I don't really know them except as the characters. And the characters were ok. There are some glaring inconsistencies with the characters, off and on. Daredevil British women going on a "big spelunk" here in the States yet aiming to hit a low level cavern. Seems like a waste of plane tickets to me, but alright. Besides that, most of these women flip flop back and forth between ubertough and mewling depending on the scene. I was expecting a tad more bad-assery than I got (don't get me wrong, there are some pleasant bad-assery scenes).

Props to the creature (i.e. crawlers). An amalgamation of alien AND predator with some pleasant Underdark overtones. Not pleasant, but you know what I mean. The effects for them was remarkably low, yet very effective. There was not one wasted scene with them, as far as I am concerned.

Props as well to the lighting effects. The handful of light tones, mixed with an environment that leads itself to weird contours, means that the whole thing could have been shot in a minor number of caverns and you would never know. Never care, either, since the only thing that matters is that this maze just keeps unwinding and there is nothing remotely resembling an entrance anywhere in sight.

Mood is dead on. Main two women, as well.

If anything at all detracts, it is the fact that despite the whole "echo location" thing being known to the main characters, they can't help talking, screaming, making way too much noise in general, and generally being dumbass time and time again.

Overall: well-done horror. Best I have seen of the honest horror genre in awhile, even beating out my previous favorite of Hostel for this past year or so's horro flicks (Slither, in the camp horror category, still wins overall.). I don't know about if its the best since Alien, but I dig it.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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