The Descent
Review written on: August 16th, 2006

The Descent Review

I’ve been reading reviews about this movie for the last few weeks. People saying it’s the scariest movie ever, that they couldn’t tolerate watching the whole thing because it was so scary, etc. Generally, when I read comments and reviews like that, the movie ends up sucking. A lot. The Descent, however, didn’t suck. Given, it wasn’t as scary as people made it out to be, but it definitely had it’s jumpy points.

These “creatures”, or whatever they are, certainly are creepy. It’s never disclosed what they are, and you only have to figure out on your own that they’re people who got stuck in this cave, and adapted. They’ve very vampire from Blade II-ish. They go for the throat when they attack, for the sure kill. Once dead (or in some cases, semi-dead), they eat the flesh of humans. Very Hostel type gore. Almost to the point where you want to cringe, but can’t, because it’s so damn cool what’s going on.

I generally frown on any movie that takes place in a cave, unless it’s starring Indiana Jones. And, I generally frown on a movie about weird-sorta-human creatures eating regular humans. But The Descent didn’t bother me. They made the movie just the right length. 53 minutes of leading up to being scared, and 42 minutes of being scared and hoping that the good guys win. Yes, there’s some story involved between the girls, and yes they start off with this whole “her husband and daughter died, but her husband was sleeping with her friend” story, but that’s not entirely important (until the end).

I wouldn’t say this movie was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. However, I would put it in my TopFive for this year alone. It was definitely an edge of the seat movie, and I definitely felt myself yearning for the good guys to come out on top. Special effects were great, but I guess it’s not hard to make things look scary when you’re in a cave, and it’s dark. My grandma could be scary in a dark cave.

The Descent is another of the “made overseas and bought by some American company that liked it” movie, like Wolf Creek and Hostel. Those movies fail in comparison to The Descent though. I thought the movie was brilliant. Good acting, a not-over-the-top script (thank god), scary moments, drama, and a race of vampire like people eaters. What more can you want?

This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. Don’t bring your mom to see it, don’t expect your date to enjoy it for a romantic Friday night, don’t think for a second that you’ll get out of this movie without jumping at least once. It’s a quick hour and a half (the first 53 minutes kind of dragged, and I literally said out loud “get interesting already”), and the action moves along nicely once it starts. You can hardly recognize that the movie (in theory) should be garbage. If you were to pitch this movie to me, as a producer, I’d tell you to screw. “Cave, repelling women, people-eaters, fighting, blindness, scary!”. My response “get the hell out of my office, and don’t come back.” But, writer/director Neil Marshall did a great job with this. (No relation to Penny or Gary)

If you like the Saw movies, Hostel, High Tension, or Wolf Creek this movie is absolutely for you.


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