Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: The Beast Reviews: The Descent

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Beast Reviews: The Descent

This 2005 film from director Neil Marshall was a welcome surprise. I was a big fan of Marshall's "Dog Soldiers" so I knew the guy had talent. But, I had yet to see a horror movie placed in a cave that really lived up to the hype of the tagline.

The film is about 5 or 6 girls who take an annual outdoor adventure for the thrill and fun of it. The shocking opening to the picture is very well filmed and is in the tradition of Cliffhanger. This sets up the rest of the plot and characters. The following year, the girls set off to a hole in the ground in the Appalachian Mountains. Once down in the hole, they get cut off from the outside by a rock slide and must find a different exit. Things heat up between the girls as the leader admits she took them to the wrong cave, one that no one had ever been in before so they could discover it and name it. (This left me asking myself, how did she know it was there if no one had ever discovered it?) The girls slowly begin to turn on each and then they run into the. . . .things. The girls are now desperately fighting for their lives not only from these creatures, but also to find a way out of the cave.

The strengths of the picture are numerous. First of all, it is simply well filmed. Marshall knows what he is doing. You never get that all too familiar feeling with horror films that some guy just took some cameras and starting shooting a movie. Secondly, there is some depth to the characters, development and storyline. Some genuine scares and moments of tension also abound.

The biggest weakness is the ending, as seems to always be the case. The main character, Sarah, decides she must flip out and become like the creatures in order to survive, which is cool. But, some of the things she does, especially at the end, just doesn't make much sense. I suppose the gore factor will also subtract from the normal movie viewer's enjoyment. But hey, this is horror, not that silly prototypical "I Know What You Did For The Last 4 Summers" garbage.

Overall, I recommend the film and the director Neil Marshall.

The Beast Paw Rating: 3 out of 4 Paws


Anonymous Rexwilder said...

Did any of them turn into LVs? If not, forget it.

February 02, 2007 3:18 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...

Hence, 3 out of 4 stars.

February 02, 2007 3:26 PM  

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