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- Terrorific Extreme Adventuring
When watching this movie, I feel like I'm in that labyrinthine cave so far underground--just as I find myself on the mountain and in the crevasse when viewing Touching the Void. I found the troglodytes very believable as well. The character development was quite adequate. The acting was fine. I found nothing that detracted from the experience except the very last 10 seconds (which I won't give away). I find this movie to be an engrossing terrorific adventure....more info
THE MOVIE FOR ME STARTED WHEN THEY GOT LOST IN THE CAVE. I KNOW THEY WERE TRYING TO GET YOU TO KNOW THE CHARCTERS IN THE BEGINNING. THE DIALOGUE COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER. I DID KNOW ONE OF THE WOMEN WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH ONE OF HER FRIENDS HUSBAND. I DON'T THINK THE CHARCTERS WERE STRONG ENOUGH. MAYBE THEY NEEDED STRONGER ACTRESSES LIKE SIGOURNY WEAVER, LINDA HAMILTON EVEN ANGELA BASSET. BUT THE MOVIE HAD IT'S MOMENTS. IT'S GOOD TO WATCH, AND IT'S GOOD TO PUT ON WHEN YOU HAVE MOVIE NIGHT WITH FRIENDS. :-)...more info
- Good, not Great.
I assumed this was based on the book of the same name. The book was MUCH better. But the movie was good enough once I got past expecting to see something that approximated the book. It's worth a rental. I wouldn't buy it....more info
- Descent Review
I ordered the DVD and it would not play the last two chapters, so I received another DVD and it still would not play the last two chapters. I only got part of my money back for something that was not my fault. I am not very happy with how the purchase turned out. I have not heard why both of the DVD's would not play the last two chapters also....more info
- Surprisingly good
Like others, I did not expect to like this film, but when I caught it on cable T.V., I was surprised at how good it was, including the acting and production values, even the music. I saw the film with the original ending, but later read about the ending used for the American release, and was quite glad I saw the original. "Dog Soldiers" is good, but this is excellent. ...more info
- Could someone please turn on a light
A group of young women get more than they bargained for when a weekend caving adventure ends with them getting trapped in a cave that is inhabited by flesh-eating monsters.
"The Descent" is essentially just an updated version of "Deliverance", but nowhere near as good as its predecessor. Having read so many favourable reviews of this film, I went in wanting to like it. However, try as I might, the film just didn't work for me. I could go into detail about all of the things that I don't like about this film, starting with the characters, who just didn't appeal to me, and finishing with the film's ending, which I found to be depressing. However, the biggest thing that I have against this film is the lighting or lack thereof. Think about it. This film is set deep inside a cave. There is no light except for the torches and flares of the main characters. That means that a lot of the time it is impossible or, at the very least, extremely difficult, to figure out what is going on, and believe me, staring at a dark screen for an extended period of time is BORING! Perhaps if I could have seen what was going on I might have found this film as frightening as other reviewers claim it to be.
- WOW Great movie!!
I could just say "WOW" and leave it at that! If you like scary movies, movies with lots of action, and movies that you finish watching and want to watch again just because IT WAS THAT GOOD......well, then buy this movie!! It has become one of my favorite movies of all time, and I've watched a lot of horror movies!! ...more info
- Random Creatureface Films Vidcast Review #3 The Descent (4-25-06)
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1RVF75TPSF6CU The Descent (Unrated Widescreen Edition)The Descent (Original Unrated Cut) [Blu-ray]Alien Quadrilogy (Alien/ Aliens /Alien 3 /Alien Resurrection)Doomsday (Unrated Widescreen Edition)The Cave (Widescreen Edition)...more info
- what is the point
As the chicks in this flick say: WHAT IS THE POINT?
This is one of those movies that start OK, but whose conclusion sucks real good!
Too much gory, too much blood, too much suffering. It is really hard to accept something like this as entertainment.
Well, I guess that there are worse things than this movie, like driving a pick axe through your knee. But it does not mean that I recommend watching it.
Big waste of time....more info
Gore galore, girls that rock (literally and figuratively),
unbelievable claustrophobic tension and an army of
creepy crawlies that climb walls in the dark better than
most Cirque du Soleil cast members MORE than make
up for the lack of in-depth story telling in this virtually
plotless film. Make sure your belt's on tight, your hooks
are anchored and that you've given yourself plenty of
rope before taking the plunge. A white-knuckle ride
that's well worth the price of admission!...more info
- Horrible film.
This film is utterly horrible. Gore shoots from the creatures and women as if propelled from a pressure washer, the creatures somehow rip several of the women to shreds without their teeth coming into contact with flesh, their movements look ridiculous as they are not actually moving more quickly but the film rate is, the "monsters" are on camera far too much and end up looking silly rather than scary, a woman accidentally kills a companion in the heat of battle and is judged, crippled and left for dead by another of the group, a dream/gotcha ending, and a nonexistent plot.
I am a fan or horror movies, but this one is just not good. It starts off with a compelling story and then ends up being a slasher flick with characters so annoying, protagonist included, that you cannot wait for them to die. Although a lot of time and money was spent on special effects, it is not a redeeming factor. As an obscure military leadership saying goes, "You can't polish a turd."...more info
- Mountain Pick Chicks in the Cannibal Cave of Death
Neill Marshal gave British horror flicks a bite in the arm with his funny and thrilling Zulu-with-werewolves flick Dog Soldiers, but he ain't joking in The Descent. Unlike overhyped, undernourished recent local efforts like glorified TV pilot 28 Days Later, this is a real movie made by someone who knows exactly what he's doing, and who does it well. More importantly, he's not afraid to take his time to ground the story and the characters before getting to the main course. There are a couple of hokey false alarms before his heroines find themselves trapped in an unexplored cave system, but the first two thirds are a pretty good survival story in their own right, making you wonder if he really needs to give the gals company down there: big mistake, because when they finally do meet the locals, the film shifts into high gear that makes Cameron and Sigourney look like wimps. Aside from some terrific action scenes, Marshall even manages to subvert the expected it's-not-really-the-ending ending, turning it from the usually schlocky clich¨¦ into something that is genuinely haunting. Which is a shame for those of who saw it theatrically Stateside, because that ending can only be found on the unrated special edition (it's only the last minute that's been cut, but that's enough to leave you with the standard one-size-fits-all horror movie ending). Still, I suppose we should be grateful at least that Lion's Gate didn't retitle it Mountain-Pick Chicks in the Cannibal Cave of Death.......more info
- So Much Potential ....
I wanted to like this film. How often do directors present their audience with an all-female cast ... let alone a cast of strong adventurous women? And the concept of using spelunking to create claustrophobia is fairly innovative (outer-space has become too common a choice ... with films as recent as Boyle's Sunshine taking full advantage of its restrictions). And, I admittedly had to restart this DVD because I was grabbing a soda when only A MINUTE into the film, the gore began. Soooo,when I pushed the back button, I was convinced this film was going to shine ... unfortunately, it was tedious stretch of blackness (for me).
Yes, this film does have several "jump-out-of-your-skin" moments; however, these types of thrills are short lived and fairly thoughtless. They become disappointingly predictable to the skilled viewer. And, there are occassional moments of tension (mostly as a result of good camera-work), but this is undermined by the poorly-crafted creatures ("real " or not). The sub-par quality of these underground-predators pulls the viewer out of the film (even if the viewer believes these are strictly hallucinations). And while the gore is well rendered, the film is so saturated with blood that one quickly becomes desensitized.
Unlike many of the negative reviews of this film, I did not mind the conclusion. I've never been fond of films that neatly tie the end in a pretty bow. And the last image is perhaps its best ... it almost worked on me ... almost. (Watch the DVD with the director commentary and you will hear Marshall say that he left it open-ended for viewer interpretation ... and a potential sequel ... so there is no need for a forced-read ... which, again, is a welcome move).
Maybe the biggest "sin" this film committed was to present a group of strong female characters and then reduce the conflict to one of romance. Exhausting. And, frankly, the director tipped his hand too early. What should have been subtle was painfully overt ... and while I could not have predicted the relatively "bizarre" events of the films, I easily predicted the final confrontation in the first FORTY-FIVE seconds of the film.
Hey, a lot of viewers like this film ... there has to be a reason for that. The concept is genuinely innovative and the director bravely granted his film what he knew might widely be considered an "unpopular" ending. I respect that. But on both a visceral and intellectual level, it did not hold my attention (at all). Nonetheless, just because it failed to (even partially) engage me, does not mean it will fail for you. I see its merits ... I just believe this film is deeply flawed.
Give it a try and return here to share your thoughts! And prepare for The Descent II which is currently in pre-production. However, director Neil Marshall is not returning ... though he is producing (meaning he's involved in procuring funds, some aspects of hiring, and distribution) ... and by reading the synopsis, part II might just provide that nice bow for which many are clamoring ... what a pity.) ...more info
- A Really Good Flick To Watch In The Dark!
this suprised me...i thought after all those lame THE CAVE movies ,etc....
but it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time
the premise is 6 women stuck in this hell-ish world below the surface because they decided to go exploring
the creatures that live underneath are nothing to laugh at
and this movie will cause claustraphobia
and if u cant stand the sight of blood , fake or real...dont watch
its good :)...more info
- Great Horror movie!
I love horror movies. Unfortumatly, it's hard for me to find any that actually scare me. "The descent", however, does a fantastic job. I popped it into my DVD player with the average expectations of a "horror" movie set in caves with girls as the protagonists. About halfway in though, when the "monsters" finally showed up, (with a very creepy introductory view from down a tunnel) I was pressed into my couch as far as I could go, arms around knees, and intently watching every moment of the movie.
I have never squealed like a girl while watching a horror movie, but "The Descent" evoked several from me, and I was thankful to be watching it without witnesses!
I highly recommend "The Descent" to anyone seeking a scary movie!...more info
- A classic in the horror genre
I have to admit i am not really into horror movies. Must do nothing but sicken me and how is that scary?
The descent is something else. A horror movie that doesn't over do the gore or the specail effects. It actually has a story line and uses visuals and suspense to do a fairly good job.
The decent is not the scarest horror movie out there but it may be among the best overall horror movies to come out in a while.
A must see....more info
- The Descent
This is quite simply one of the best horror movies ever made. And this comes from a person who watches almost nothing but horror every day. Never has a movie been so bleak since "John Carpenter's The Thing". Neil Marshall first made his mark on "Dog Soldiers", another excellent film, and the direction here was even more fantastic. The all-female cast was perfect, just spot-on, and the creatures both looked and acted like no others I have ever seen. The gore was immense, absolutely amazing, you will do yourself a favor by picking up the unrated version of the film. This movie is beyond your typical hack n' slash horror film, the characters are so greatly fleshed out you really get a chance to know and become attached to them. None of the women are just disposable gore fodder. Bloody, disgusting, frightening, claustrophobic, amazing. This is one of my favorite movies, if not my favorite, ever made....more info
- BORED AT ALL...
I SAW THE MOVIE BUT IT'S BORED AT ALL. ALSO IT'S NOT ENJOYMENT. THE CREATURE WAS STRANGE AND DISGUSTING. I THOUGHT THIS MOVIE WAS GOOD-LOOKING
BUT IT WAS NOT. ANYWAY THIS MOVIE WAS A FAILURE....more info
- Really quite amazing.
In the tired genre of Scream and Dimension type film crapola and Saw run-on nonsense that saturates the market in its entirety, it was a remarkable surprise to witness the true realism in a film that is anything but. Using all females in every lead role was certainly refreshing and I think it worked. As a whole, I think most movie lovers can't be frightened anymore, everything is used up, everything is wasted, tried, re-tried, tired, and regurgatated. That said, I wasn't scared with The Descent, and safe to say nor was I terriried in any aspect, but the movie delivers for stunning special effects. The scenes in the belly of carcasses and pools of blood and remains was truly remarkable and very finely done indeed. The monsters were keen, but not shrewd, nor new in any aspect. I wont give anything away if you are reading this, (and most likely you aren't), but the scene at the end had me actually sitting up rooting her on, jibbering and squiggling in my seat. That rarely has happened since seeing E.T. in the theatres when the bad men are chasing after Henry Thomas and friends on their BMX's.
What really got me into the film, was really believing that I was actually crawling through the small chunnels with the broads, and for what it's worth, isn't that what cinema is supposed to do to us: transport us away from reality and into the surreal.
On one other sidenote, A. Sandoc's comment that there were hints of Asia Argento in the film, is a bit ridiculous.
I thought that I was going to have another boring Friday night at home again. Until I came across this movie! The Desent was a bit boring at first. I started to set the tivo to finish taping it, because I was ready to turn in for the night. All of a sudden, a great thing started happening, I was enjoying this movie. It kept my attention thought the last half of the movie. I loved the sceans that caught me off guard. I haven't saw a movie this good for a long long time!!!...more info
- Movie great! Blu Ray not so much
This is a great movie. However, as I commonly say, I can fully enjoy a movie without having to watch it in its entirety. The second half of this movie, i.e., when the monsters really come out, can get a little less than fully entertaining. That notwithstanding, the characters are interesting and engaging, and the concept is fun in an adventurish kind of way. Even better, one of the characters wears an Arcteryx jacket - by far the best adventure gear on the planet (forget Northface or Spyder - overpriced garbage)! HOWEVER, while the movie is great, the Blu-Ray transfer is not so. I owned the original (SD) version, then bought HD because I'm a Blu-Ray junkie, only to be highly disappointed. Lots of noise in the video transfer, far too much in fact for a movie only recently created. I don't advise someone buying to replace their SD version unless they're lost to the Blu-Ray OCD gods like I am. ...more info
- VERY BAD MOVIE
This is a lame and completely unbelievable movie straight from the 1950s-type phony monsters. A group of women decide to spelunk, with no "flight plan" filed with anyone. Then of course one of them chooses to take the rest into an unexplored cave without mentioning to the others that it could be is dangerous. With friends like that.....
Then of course, in the cave, blind monsters (people in rubber suits) show up to murder all the women.
First of all, why would such strong, fearless women in the beginning of the movie suddenly turn into cringing, screaming, and hysterical stereotypes.
Secondly, the monsters are so badly done that one expects to see zippers on the back of their rubber suits.
Steer clear of this movie. It is horrible. I was embarrassed for the filmmakers.
- A Big Downer
Thanks to a nerdy childhood, some uncreative bullies, and a gym locker, I have grown up with a mild case of claustrophobia. Thanks to a Baptist minister father and an upbringing replete with information on the Forces of Darkness, I have also grown up with a (possibly unhealthy) fascination of dark and unknowable creatures. On top of all of this, I like women. Hence, THE DESCENT, a film about a group of women who go spelunking in caves filled with nasty beasties is (ideally) right up my alley.
The basic story I've already pretty much summarized, although I neglected to mention that one of the women lost her husband and child a year before the cave dive, a detail that gains and loses importance depending on how you choose to interpret the film's dreary head-scratcher of a conclusion. As the women battle with the creepy crawlies (and each other) in their search for a way out, their sanity (and the story) rapidly begins to fray.
After puzzling over the film's final moments, I came up with an interpretation that I thought was sound, albeit disappointing. I visited discussion boards on both Amazon and IMDB to see what other explanations were being tossed around by viewers, and what I discovered was that the movie has so many avenues for interpretation, it's difficult to argue that any one of them are more or less valid than the other. The point being that even the director has said there are multiple ways to view the film.
That sort of approach work quite well for dramas and even comedies, but in my opinion, psychological thrillers need some hedges around their possibilities, or else what you have falls prey to the old and dull It Was All A Dream cop-out. That's not exactly what you have here (I don't think so, anyways), but the end result is similar: why watch a film if you can argue that the entire thing is nothing but an artfully constructed fantasy?
At times it is scary, and it is often grotesque. The creatures are well-done and the acting is great (the women, at times, are at least as scary as the cave cannibals), but without some kind of anchor in reality, the movie is little more than a bunch of "Boos!" and blood and a whole lot of confusion. If you like quizzical endings and open-ended plot questions, then I suggest you descend into the madness of DESCENT. Or you could just get some school bullies to trap you in a gym locker for an hour or so. ...more info
- For a lower budget film this one delivered! Great horror film!
This movie was entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat until the credits were rolling and even then my jaw was hanging open. Compared to other recent horror films this one was the best. Two thumbs up! I recommended this film to all my friends and not one has been disappointed yet....more info
- Descent into horror . . . which is a good thing
The Descent is from the same director as Dog Soldiers and interestingly features an all-female cast as opposed to Dog Soldiers which has an (almost) all male cast.
Six friends get together for a "holiday" exploring a cave as a way of getting over the death of one of the friends' daughters. However, as usual in the genre things go wrong and they end up trapped in the cave with no map. At first their main concern is finding another exit from the cave and fighting the paranoia and claustrophobia that the dark, dank conditions of the cave create, but then they discover that that they are not alone in the cave, and the company has a taste for blood...
The first fourty-five minutes of the movie is about charactor-development and building up suspence, which I think was very well done. The second part of the movie is all about action and gore, which is also very well done. This movie manages to have very well crafted horror and suspence as well as gorey deaths and buckets of blood. Few movies have been able to combine the two aspects of the horror genre as well as The Descent has.
This movie is similar to the directors previous movie, Dog Soldiers and to another movie called Creep. It also had aspects of The Cave.
The Descent is a suspenceful, gorey and origional horror movie and definatly one of my favourite post-2000 movies. I would certainly reccomend The Descent to any fans of the horror genre, or anybody looking for a good movie. This is horror at its best....more info
- A descent into true horror.
This is the best horror movie I have seen in a long time. Genuine and imaginitave. Definitely not your usual slasher flick. Six extreme sports women descend into a cave for a fun caving adventure, which quickly becomes their worst nightmare and imminant doom. What they find there is a horror no one else has ever seen, and they must battle for their lives against it. The action never stops from beginning to end and you will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat. For those of you that love frightening gore, this is the movie for you. A 5 ***** horror flick!...more info
- Not the usual weekend with the gal pals
An unusual premise/setting (cave exploring), a somewhat offbeat mix of characters (a group of women friends getting away for a weekend), tense direction, and some genuinely terrifying monsters make for a pretty decent horror film, and one that doesn't feel like a thousand others. Small downsides: the women start appearing whiny after a while (understandable, but still annoying), and amid all the eventual screaming at one another for this or that I completely missed a few plot revelations mentioned in these reviews, the main one being that apparently one of the girls betrayed another one in a big way sometime in the recent past. Maybe I was just tired when I watched it. Anyway, I still liked the movie a lot, especially appreciating the way it successfully juggled both subtle, creepy scares and outright horrific moments. It did both well and knew which types of scares to employ when. And speaking of subtle and creepy, be sure to get the "original unrated cut", as it ends the movie on a more subtle and disturbing note that works much better than the ending attached to the truncated American cut. Artful subtlety can be very scary, too, after all. Decent DVD extras add further value to this taut little gem....more info
- Buy the Uk version from Amazon.co.uk!!! This version is the typical US hack job.
This is an amazing, and truly tense film. Brilliant in every facet. The only downer here is that yet again the US version is watered down for the US market... apparently you dont actually live in "the land of the brave", as the darker, grittier ending was removed from your version....more info
- Jeep Girl
I just love this movie. Have seen it many times with the last on a projection screen while on vacation in Outer Banks in the theater room of our rental home. Scary stuff!...more info
- It DOES live up to the hype...and then some!
Too many mainstream american horror films, I've discovered over the last few years, seem to suffer from a severe lack of character development and by-the-numbers predictability. It truly amazes me to therefore read so many negative reviews that accuse Neil Marshall of the same pratfalls when, in all honesty, he has crafted a film that so very clearly goes against the shopworn grain.
When I initially caught "The Descent" two years ago in Los Angeles, I was immediately enamored by the straightforwardly grim approach to the material. There was, much to my immediate relief, no unnecessary humor, cheesy one-liners, or MTV Top-40 soundtrack to be found anywhere. And the characters, contrary to some rather recent and incredibly erroneous claims, were not underdeveloped. Marshall fleshed each of these six women out just well enough to make me want to invest in their fates. I bought into their interpersonal relationships and I think that, along with the admittedly unapologetic bloodshed that was called for within the screenplay, actually helped elevate this film to a higher echelon.
When I consider the watered-down PG-13 dreck, such as the fairly new "Prom Night" remake, that Hollywood lately seems to revel in cranking out assembly-line style, it makes savoring rare diamonds-in-the-rough like "The Descent" all the more enjoyable. This is a horror film that truly deserves to be called horror. It's easily light years ahead of "The Cave" and every other similarly themed rip-off that found its way to a movie screen that year. ...more info
- ' Alien Deliverance '; Descent -BluRay
Cheesy title; but that's a start,or the plot. Very scary real spelunking adventure becomes sci-fi/horror and gore within a real likable group of women. Great photography and sound lend atmosphere that plays aces on BD; making it watchable after many viewings. Looks great on DVD; beyond great on Blu-Ray....more info
- It doesn't live up to the hype.
I recently watched the blue ray version of this movie with the expectation of the new horrow classic, but unfortunately it was a big disappointment. I hope this is not your introduction to the new horror genre because high tension, them, may, and inside are all far superior than this film (French horror is awesome). The movie spent alot of time setting up for the scenes in the cave and had some pointless story before they finally even got to the cave. It seemed like for over half the movie you are sitting there waiting for something to happen. It was so dull, luckilly I had my computer and was surfing the net. I also feel that creatures themselves looked like a knock-off of a sci-fi channel movie. They look like a combination of nosferatu with pirranha teeth. If you see the movie for hot girls you may be happy, but don't expect much to get you to excited....i.e. no nudity.(A cardinal sin if hot girls are in horror movies) There were some scenes in the cave that were quite intense, but not enough. They should have had more scenes concerning the isolation and darkness of the large cave. They also should have created more suspense playing with the emotions of the audience. All the characters seemed to have light moving in the cave through the whole movie, and I believe that if some scenes in complete darkness would have been far more effective. Overall I feel this is no better than any of those straight to video horror movie. ...more info
- Movie: 4/5 Picture Quality: 4~5/5 Sound Quality: 4.5/5 Extras: 4.5/5
Version: U.S.A / Region Free
MPEG-4 AVC BD-50
Disc size: 48,36 GB
Subtitles: English SDH / Spanish
Number of chapters: 17
LPCM Audio English 6144 kbps 7.1 / 48kHz / 16-bit / 6144kbps
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48kHz / 640kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 192kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 192kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 192kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 192kbps
The Descent: Original Unrated Cut (seamless branching)
Running time: 1:39:50
Movie size: 23,02 GB
Average video bit rate: 21.56 Mbps
The Descent: Rated (seamless branching)
Running time: 1:38:35
Movie size: 22,57 GB
Average video bit rate: 21.56 Mbps
The Descent PiP Secondary Encode
Running time: 1:39:50
Movie size: 12,66 GB
Average video bit rate: 15.91 Mbps
#The Descent: An Underground Experience
#The Descent: Beneath the Scenes (41 minutes)
#DescENDING-Interview with Director Neil Marshall (7 minutes)
#Deleted/extended scenes (10 minutes total)
#Cast and crew biographies
#Storyboard to scene comparisons (10 minutes)
#Caving: An HD Experience (8 minutes
For some strange reason, Lionsgate seems to have re-encoded the movie using MPEG-2 and applied Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) thus robbing off the fine details that was exhibited by the original AVC encoded release.
More details available here
- An effective horror with characters
There are over 140 reviews so there's not much I can add in plot summary. I viewed the DVD over 6 months ago but decided to add a few comments and give away a few twists (warning: don't read this review if you want to be surprised).
1. The story starts out with the lead character (Sarah), an outdoorsy young, married mother, suffering a horrible family tragedy - I'm not one to "get over it" if it happened to me - - the tragedy returns in the finally scene of the DVD unrated director's cut, and it is this closing of the loop that really haunts me, more than the Crawler creatures (which, as far as I know, don't exist).
2. Because most of the actors are British/Irish/Scottish, I couldn't pick up all the dialogue. Fast forward a year, and the group of 6 adventurer friends join on an underground cave exploration outing. Unbeknownst to the group, the trip organizer (Juno) selects a cave system that isn't charted. That, in itself, demonstrates the recklessness of the leader and is one of several points of friction.
3. To proceed further after roping down, they have to go through a narrow tunnel. I wouldn't crawl under my dusty bed to retrieve a dropped item much less a narrow tunnel dozens of feet underground but it was a situation of "no guts, no glory" according to their leader or turn back 10 minutes after starting off. The collapse of the tunnel, the only way in & out they know, is filmed in a claustrophobic manner -- this scene was very effective and gave me an ominous feeling right away.
4. Although trapped, they persevere with tense nerves and friction with each other -- blaming and encouraging each other since they know the situation is very untenable. In one scene, one of the characters is overtaken with joy when she thinks there is a way out, and she (recklessly) suffers a broken leg that puts her and the group at even greater loss of hope.
5. The antagonist Crawlers, as in most horror movies, are introduced slowly but once shown, they relentlessly attack the group. I'm sure reviewers have a great deal to say about this but the Crawlers are shown to be graphic killers - in the DVD extras, you see the Crawlers are human actors wearing albino suits -- they are not computer generated or added in the editing room. Knowing this, it explains their presentation and in my view, delivers the same scariness as Jurassic Park special effects.
6. The movie devotes considerable time to the group's attempt at survival. The characters are smart, athletic & can fight back (not those wimpy, dumb female characters in other horror movies), but distrust and ill feelings set in, and there is a later scene where one character leaves another to the Crawlers to kill so she can flee. The character interactions are as interesting as anything in the movie and sets it apart from others - you actually feel for what they are going through, liking one over another, blaming some, while hoping they all survive but know that some won't make it. During all of this, you get to know something about the women characters, taking sides while watching them fight for survival.
7. Well, I wrote that I will give away the final twist so here goes - - in the unrated DVD version (I can't compare it to the US or UK theatrical releases), you think the lead character survives, but she doesn't which is a sad ending in itself -- she imagines seeing her deceased young daughter (died a year earlier) in the final moments as her life is also about to end - perhaps that's better than surviving . . . a very impactful movie in my view.
- Into the abyss I go ....
Actually, I gave this movie 3 1/2 stars, but for the benefit of the doubt used 4 instead of lowering it to just 3. WARNING: Jeff Long wrote a fantastic book called 'The Descent'. When I first heard of this movie I thought at last they had made the book into a movie. Wrong. The only things the book and the movie have in common are the name and something creepy underground.
Six women, Sarah, Juno, Beth, Rebecca, Sam and Holly, love get togethers that include extreme adventures, such as white water rafting. The ladies haven't gotten together since Sarah lost her family in a car accident. Now, several months later, they're ready to take off again, this time on a deep cave spelunking adventure. After venturing into the cave, crawling through an amazingly tight tunnel which collapses behind them, Juno admits she didn't bring the map because this isn't the cave everyone thought they were exploring. It's a new, unexplored cave, one where they could have made a name for themselves by exploring. The problem now becomes finding a way out.
Deeper and deeper they go, until they come upon a chamber filled with bones. Here they meet an unexpected welcoming party, a group of ghastly albino beings who see humans as simply another source of food. The girls fight off the beasts, get separated, get re-united, and all the while the body count begins to pile up.
'The Descent' is a good horror flick with plenty of gory eye gouging and head slicing to feed your taste for blood, but at the same time is a bit formulaic. Another problem is that although its being filmed in a dark cave, the fights are too dark, too fast, and choppily edited making the best parts far too hard to see and follow. There are still some scenes that will make you jump out of your seat, and a few surprises in the script that keeps this film from being just another splatter film. Rent first. Enjoy!