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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BRITISH HORROR IN YEARS
The creators of Dog Soldiers have come back with what I believe is a masterpiece of a movie - The Descent.

The films plot is pretty basic - girls go cave exploring, girls get lost, girls discover monsters, girls get devoured by monsters. However, dont let this put you off, as this is unlike any horror flick I have seen.

The first half hour or so...
Published on 20 April 2006 by Mr. S. M. Kelly

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What to expect
Sometimes I think when people watch a horror film these days they expect a little too much the reality is there is very little new that a director can bring to the horror genre. A few years ago the English speaking world was treated to the Ring and suddenly went crazy for Japanese films due to the whole 'more suspense less gore' aspect of the films. Along came Grudge then...
Published on 14 July 2008 by Gogol


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very creepy, 4 Jun. 2006
By 
H. J. Whitaker "Bob" (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Some people seem to have missed the point of this film, complaining about the horror. It is a horror film but is done so well that when the gore finally arrives you're nerves are already shredded. The build up is tense and the creepy moments really do make you jump in your seat. Far from being empty, the characters are largely rounded, although not all are sympathetic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Properly nasty, 10 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
About 30 minutes into this film, one of the characters gets wedged in a tunnel that she is attempting to crawl through. As she begins to panic the calm voice of a colleague assures her that 'the worst has already happened'. Of course, she soon finds out that being crushed by rocks beneath ground is the least of her problems...
This is a horror film that pays homage to it's forebears (with references to The Omen, Carrie, Deliverance etc that range from the sly and subtle to outright plagiarism). It's a film, unlike Marshall's previous movie Dog Soldiers, that is utterly bereft of humour and as such offers no relief for either the characters or the audience. All we get is clammy, claustrophobic fear.
This is a genuinely creepy and scary horror movie that has a nihilistic streak that harks back to the horror heyday of the 70's and the vicious video nasties of the early 80's.
Scariest moment? When the camcorder goes infra red for the first time...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Decent [Blu-Ray] Review, 17 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Descent [Blu-ray] [2005] (Blu-ray)
An awesome breath of refreshing air in the horror film industry, without giving to much away this film will scare the pants off you, if you watch it at night and have a great surround sound system to back up the awesome blu ray quality this film has to offer.

As the film is mostly set in the dark, and as humans we do not fear what we can see, its what we can't see and the unknown that scares the crap out of us. The film constantly has you biting your nails in anticipation of what will happen next and you will be rooting for us the whole way. It was perfectly filmed and you feel for the main characters because they are givin pretty good depth in the story leading up to The Decent into the caves.

A list of quality you will expect by buying this film.

The Decent 8/10
Blu Ray Quality 8/10
Blu Ray Sound 8/10

This film is a defently worth the watch and defently one for the collectors shelf, buy it you most defantly will not be dissapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caves Will Never Be The Same Again!, 19 July 2006
Let me begin by saying that this film is one of the best horror films i have seen from the past 10 years - it is scary as hell with buckets of blood and guts. The Descent was somewhat of a surprise hit as most horror movies nowdays are either remakes or poor sequels, so it is nice to have something original and fresh. After Dog Soldiers i had high expectations, and they were exceeded.

I also have to say that this film is fairly disturbing and very upsetting (Pick axe + Neck) in parts.

The only reason i give it 4 stars is due to the disappointing ending - i'm sure a lot of people expected more.

Overall after a slow but effective build up, The Descent truly lives up to its great reputation.

If you like this film, then i would also strongly suggest you watch Wolf Creek - that is even more disturbing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended - Maybe, 13 Mar. 2006
A much, much better attempt than Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers, with classier actors (No Sean Pertwee!) and a bigger budget. The whole concept of a cave based horror film is a good one and got the old adrenalin pumping in the much the same way as the darkened spacecraft corridors did in "Alien". The film is at its best in its early stages when the storyline is more psychological and scenes more claustrophobic. Things change big time when the creatures are revealed and unfortunately much of tension is lost upon their arrival. That said, when things do kick off Marshall cleverly shifts the movie into full Evil Dead 3 mode and the characters turn into female "Ash" caricatures capable of real monster-mashing carnage. A really good piece of Saturday night entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrill seekers be advised..., 4 Dec. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descent [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
The Descent is written and directed by Neil Marshall. It stars Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring and Nora Jane Noone. Music is by David Julyan and cinematography by Sam McCurdy.

A group of adventurous ladies are always up for the challenges of nature, be it water rafting, climbing or cave exploring. When they go potholing in some out of the way Appalachian venue, they find a little more than they bargained for. In fact it's looking unlikely that any of them will survive the trip...

Neil Marshall first came to horror fan's attention with the bloody and hugely funny Dog Soldiers in 2002, here his follow up forgoes humour in favour of an assault on the viewers senses. Chiefly what Marshall has done is craft a picture that plays on the basic fears of your average human being, the dark, confined spaces, and yes, things that literally do go bump in the night, all nicely bundled up in the most appropriate of subterranean settings. But to purely label The Descent as a shallow popcorn horror piece would be a gross case of misdirection, for Marshall has given the characters a back story to work from, we as the viewers get introductions to these game and able ladies, interesting character dynamics serving for preparation, so when they get down in the dark, we are with them too.

Marshall knows his horror onions, he knows what works and he know what doesn't, after grabbing our attention quite early in the piece, he serenely goes about knitting the strands together to fully form his movie, he then of course knows that once we are in the caves, reality is the key, and here's Marshall's masterstroke. His use of lighting is first class, there is no light down there, we have to rely on Miners Helmet lamps, glow sticks, flares and even the video-cam viewfinder. Contrast the lighting work of that with The Cave that was released the same year, The Cave is lit up like Narnia on a snowy morning for crying out loud! Marshall is also well served by his sound department, trickles of water blending in with the sound of bodies scraping against rock, and of course something, somewhere, shuffling in the dark...

The Descent ranks up with the very best of British horror movies, its build up and execution is first rate, and it pulls a neat trick of having an all female cast, of which Alex Reid and Shauna Macdonald are particularly impressive, the latter of which producing one of the best shows of grief shown by a British actress in many a blood red moon. American audiences have proved to be indifferent to it, though they have not been helped by having a different (weaker) ending to the excellently thought provoking one that Britain got. But a couple of nice homages aside (the score for example is a direct lift from Carpenter's The Thing), that are Marshall's want, The Descent is as fresh as a daisy; that is if your daisies are cloaked in terror! A brilliant horror picture, the most significant British horror film since The Wicker Man. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What to expect, 14 July 2008
By 
Gogol (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Descent [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Sometimes I think when people watch a horror film these days they expect a little too much the reality is there is very little new that a director can bring to the horror genre. A few years ago the English speaking world was treated to the Ring and suddenly went crazy for Japanese films due to the whole 'more suspense less gore' aspect of the films. Along came Grudge then along came Dark Water which (to steal the title of another film) was frankly ahem..a 'bridge too far' People made a big thing about Saw but to be honest for all the pseudo intelligent nut case it was all done before in Seven (elaborate methods of murder to punish and teach the victim a lesson etc) The point is, this film should come as no surprise when you find it has little to offer.

You can find almost the exact same format from the Hills Have Eyes down to Creep. Group of normal folk go on holiday only to be killed off by lunatics, hillbillies, mutants, inbreds etc....

That the film has an all female leading cast really had little effect on me (I guess with it being underground and in near darkness there wasn't any sexual aspect to it) and really I just didn't see any 'feminist' slant to the film nor did I see the monsters in this film as 'males' (Maybe there was some subliminal feminist motive to the film that was just lost on me)

The film has all that is needed for a good night in watching a shock/horror/gore film. Group of people hopelessly lost in tunnels and caves being picked off by blind monstrous looking things which do look like the character in the film Creep. The body count mounts on both sides as the ladies use whatever weapons come to hand to fend off their attackers (to some good effect) so you will be treated to plenty of blood, plenty of cracked skulls, fair bit of eye gouging, a dash of entrails eating and a fair bit of blood squirts from gaping head wounds.

Is this predicable? Yes. If you are looking for a horror film to make you think as well as scare you best look somewhere else. If you want a good hour and a half of shock, blood and scare then this may be the film for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mountain Pick Chicks in the Cannibal Cave of Death, 4 May 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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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 cliché into something that is genuinely haunting. Which is a shame for those of you Stateside, because that's not the ending you'll be seeing when the film opens there late Summer (apparently 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 haven't retitled it Mountain-Pick Chicks in the Cannibal Cave of Death. Yet...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tunnel Vision, 31 Jan. 2006
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"The Descent" is the story of an all-female caving team that becomes trapped in deep caves and finds itself at the mercy of subterranean nosferatu-lookalike creatures. After the first encounter with the monsters, the film revolves around numerous fight scenes with them as the team becomes seperated and the individuals crawl through various tunnels in an attempt to find a way out.
The strength of "The Descent" lies in its cinematography. The cave and pothole filming is excellent, and creates the atmosphere, and a feeling of being trapped, essential for the story to work. Being familiar with potholing, the filming really did capture some of the feelings associated with being stuck inside tiny, wet caves.
The film was almost ruined for me however by a near-fatal flaw. That is, to enable the film to be truly scary, the viewer would need to fear for the lives of the main characters, to sympathise with them and hope for them. There is however, no characterisation of the cave team whatsoever. A brief scene of them getting drunk on the night before they go off caving is simply not enough for us to get to know them. We don't really know anything about them - and their personalities all blend in to each other. So when things start going wrong for them, I found I wasn't as bothered about it as I perhaps should have been. The only form of character development happened in a sudden moment where the girls were all suddenly transformed from a group of shrill whingers to ass-kicking monster slayers.
Nevertheless, the monsters looked pretty good (even if their movements were created simply by speeding up the camera), the cave filming was great, and in summary it was a very watchable film spoiled by the underdeveloped characters, essential to hold together its fairly basic plot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary like hell!!, 15 Mar. 2006
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This is a must see horror!! Its the scariest british horror in 20 years!!! This movie will make you scared!! Lots of jumpy bits!! Reccomend it to anybody!!!
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The Descent [Blu-ray] [2005]
The Descent [Blu-ray] [2005] by Neil Marshall (Blu-ray - 2009)
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