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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Descent [DVD] [2005]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 4 April 2016
Would recommend.
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on 30 August 2017
The Descent is the very definition of claustrophobic horror. Trust me when I say this, it will make you think twice about setting foot into a cave. We follow a group of British women who decide to explore a famous cave system in America. Problem is, one "smart cookie" in the group decides to take it upon herself to guide the group into an unknown cave maze instead...where something else inhabits the darkness. That something being a large pack of blind cave dwellers that pretty much resemble the Falmer from Elder Scrolls (my best comparison). Oh, and they hunt and devour pretty much anything. This is a pretty decent gem from the horror genre. My main admiration has to go to director Neil Marshall who somehow took on the impossible challenge of filming in small narrow passages and dark caves. I'm sure dynamically recreated sets were utilised, but it felt authentic and a damn terrifying creepy environment. Embracing darkness is incredibly difficult, and consequently means the lighting has to be on point...fortunately it is. Flares, torches and fire all felt natural and added appropriate light so that we can visibly see our characters. Marshall's inventive direction and adventurous environment enhanced the claustrophobia needed to create the scares. There are some clever scenes, particularly when the Falmer (yup...I'm calling them that) are introduced. Night vision on a camcorder and quick movement of the head torches assist in some extremely effective techniques. The characters have glimpses of development and personality, especially Sarah, but probably not enough to actually care about them. Speaking of Sarah, can we just reflect on how she entered the cave as a scared fearful woman and yet somehow turns into Arnold Schwarzenegger of the cave world by the end. Even does the scream from Predator! The constant rapid cuts when the Falmer attack the humans made me slightly nauseous and made it difficult to differentiate what the heck was going on. However, this is a gory, claustrophobic, dark and often tense horror film that will appeal to genre enthusiasts.
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on 7 October 2012
What starts off as a jovial ''girls' weekend out'' devolves into something that will leave you in your seat with your heart pounding like mad. In fact, some of the shots are done so well I jumped in my seat more than once despite being a seasoned veteran of the horror genre. The idea of filming all of this in a cave is quite brilliant too....the only other movie that I can currently think of that does this is "The Cave" (i know, i know)

Still, this film is definitely a great one. You have your ample share of gore, though it is not done, and the film also offers hideous closeups of the monsters without taking away the feel of suspense in the process. A five, out of five.
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on 1 January 2012
enjoyed this film - unusual storyline in that all the characters were women. A genuine sense of claustraphobia which was very unsettling indeed. In fact i cant think of a more terrifying scenario than the one these girls get into! the creatures themselves are very well done and suitably creepy. Best of all was the ending which, unlike most horror flicks, was an unhappy one for the main heroine when you were expecting the usual hollywood-escape routine. Nice touch

The film itself is very bleak and genuinly frightening due to the predicament the characters find themselves in. My only gripe is that the two lead characters go too far into machisma-mode, fighting and overwhelming the creatures, especially in the penultimate scene. This spoilt it somewhat as i rather think they would have been quivering with fear instead.
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on 15 April 2011
My god, this creeped the bejesus out of me.

It is Neil Marshall's best work (even given his marvellous Dog Soldiers [DVD] [2002], and Centurion [DVD]. By far, at least for this viewer, it's the best, most disturbing horror film that's come along in many years.

It's also unique, in that it has an all female cast of characters - and they're three-dimensional in their portrayal, in that they strike you as having real lives, rather than being two-dimensional foils for male characters.

The movie is particularly remarkable for its relentless claustrophobia: principally set in a cave and twisting, claustrophobic tunnels, there appears to be no escape, and you, the viewer, are trapped in their nightmare with them. Scary as hell.
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2007
This is almost a really good film. The script is intelligent, well-paced and free of many of the usual Hollywood cliches. However, there are two serious flaws. First, the characters aren't developed enough at the beginning of the film. Second, in the pursuit of authenticity, the director has eschewed any 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' phosphorescent rocks so that the six women's underground journey is in total darkness, with only torches and flares to provide illumination. As a result, I sometimes struggled to work out which character I was looking at and this undermined the sense of dramatic tension.

Nevertheless, this is a highly enjoyable film with a great sense of claustrophobia. I just wish that the sum of the film was equal to its parts.
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on 20 July 2017
Good movie, though it is no masterpiece, plenty of scary and gory moments and not for those with claustrophobia
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on 8 December 2005
Being claustophobic I found this film particularly unnerving. I was terrified before the creature scenes even started. Although I'm not a particular fan of gore I do like a good suspensful film; and although there were a few cheap scares I thought this film was solid and well worth watching. It's interesting to note that it seems people have not picked up on the disturbing journey one of the charater takes into revenge fuelled madness. Perhaps this is the real susbstance of the horror in this film?
I watched this film as a rental but I'll definately be buying it.
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on 4 April 2006
What at first seems an average, run-of-the-mill, very clichéd and typical 'horror' flick, enthralls the viewer into the world of the group portrayed on-screen. With the use of dramtic events in the film's early stages used, not as plot devices for the films' direction, but as catalysts for the character development is a welcome change and is part of what separates The Descent from so many of its ilk. Another stunning uniqueness is the often excessive gore factor does actually add to and enhance the film, rather than detract from the story or turn a gripping movie into a dreary or even laughable bloodfest. Occasionally confusing and disorientating, this seemed not so much of a problem with watching, but more as yet another way to involve the viewer empathically with what is happening on-screen. This efect, combined with the poor lighting and claustrophobic setting really heightens the panic and this film will make you jump! Overall, a success in both making a truly frightening 'horror', and as an entertaining and well-made film.
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on 31 March 2006
Dog Soldiers was very well executed on a low budget.
This film is superbly executed on whats probably a slightly higher budget.
It's the directors ability to take what little he has and evolve it into a mindblowing classic horror film that gives the film the 5 stars it deserves.
With so much rubbish churning out of Hollywood, it just goes to show you don't need A list actors and millions of dollars to produce an awesome horror movie. It just takes an original script, a bit more effort in the ideas department, and an excellent slice of direction.
Not for ages have I actually jumped and nearly torn my girlfriends arms off with fright (who was already in a nervous disposition less than halfway through the film). She was left disgusted with my choice of DVD but equally impressed & entertained.
There are sequences in the film which aren't too disturbing but have you glued to the screen but wanting to look away at the same time... then leave you gasping for more!!!
Highly recommended.
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