20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Claustrophobic Horror,
This review is from: The Descent [DVD]  (DVD)
2005's "The Descent" is definitely one of the more superior horror movies that I've seen in recent years. Effortlessy getting across to the viewer the feeling of claustrophobia and terror suffered by the group of characters unfortunate enough to find themselves in a cave inhabited by inhuman, vicious crawlers very much intent on devouring all involved "The Descent" is commendable for getting almost everything right as a horror movie. Naturally, its gotten criticism for its gore content (as if that wasn't the point) but pointless, irrelevant criticisms aside: "The Descent" is the full package. There's great acting, great suspense, great make-up, great horror scenes and the sort of gore fans of films of this nature will just lap up.
After her husband and daughter die in a tragic car crash Sarah (Shauna McDonald) is convinced by friends Juno (Natalie Jackson Mendoza), Beth (Alex Reid), Rebecca (Saskia Mulder) and Sam (MyAnna Buring) to go on a caving expedition with them. Also tagging along is Juno's friend Holly (Nora-Jane Noone). Naturally, when the group of friends eventually do go underground into the cave things take an awry turn. A tunnel collapses and it becomes apparent that they aren't alone in the dark miles underground. Now they must battle for their lives against inhuman crawlers intent on devouring them all.
Nora-Jane Noone is a fantastic Irish actress, that she hasn't found immense success in her career is a travesty. Once again she's superb in what isn't exactly the meatiest role of the movie (her character's fate is sealed by a pivotal event not so soon into proceedings). She shines whenever on-screen though. Shauna McDonald does an excellent job as the emotionally shattered Sarah, still struggling to come to terms with the very untimely death of her closest family members. Also of note is Natalie Jackson Mendoza, as the most adventurous of the group Juno. Her character's perhaps the most flawed, and thus she needs to do a great job portraying the many misgivings and troubles Juno has in addition to the sheer horror of the terrifying situation she finds herself in. Those are the three actresses that stand out in the nearly all-woman cast. That all being said, everyone involved does pretty great, whatever their fates.
The prospect of having almost an entire motion picture set underground sounds like a somewhat daunting task, even when considering how such darkness adds effect to any horror movie. However, the people responsible for bringing "The Descent" to the screen have brilliantly executed a movie that feels all the more claustrophobic and tense in both the design sets of the cave and the sheer size differentiations. When characters are in small spaces they're often face to face with the blind crawlers, adding to the fear factor given the crawlers make up for their non-existant eyesight with excellent hearing. And when in large spaces, the size and darkness adds up to the possible shock factor. The crawlers can sneak up on the terrified women from any angle.
"The Descent" is high on blood and gore. With both the crawlers and the supposed victims taking their fare share of stabbings, murders and mutilation throughout the crawlers may always have the scare-factor and advantage of sheer numbers over the apparently doomed women, but always promises that its not all open-and-shut in this movie.
I love it when horror movies are done as well as this. Having always been a fan of the horror genre I've been left disappointed by movies that appear to think gore passes as horror or scares. Alas, that's not the case. What's so excellent about "The Descent" is that it has the ability to scare us as well as soak the picture in blood. Thus making for an altogether superior horror that's surely not one to be missed.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jan 2009 19:50:28 GMT
Geraldine M. Dunne says:
Nora-Jane Noone is Irish.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2009 16:33:48 BDT
Thomas Elce says:
My mistake. It's been corrected.
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