The Descent film review

Year: 2005

The Descent has a fairly simple premise. Six women go on a caving expedition that goes horribly wrong, when they get trapped and stumble upon a race of humaniod-like predator beasts, bent on doing nothing more than having them for supper. But make no mistake, some of the most effective, gripping and frightful scenes in The Descent, come long before you will ever see the first creature. It is one of the most physically demanding shoots I have ever witnessed on screen. From the moment the women enter the caves, there is a noose-tight tension, and injuries so realistic, you truly feel them in your bones, which happen to be spread out like sidewalks throughout the caves. My hat goes off completely to director Neil Marshall, who again proves that without the "let’s make a sequel-remake" mentality of the U.S. studio system, true creative genius can organically rise to the surface, even without the big budget.

The Descent describes a descent into a hell they never dreamed of, but it’s also a disintegration of their minds, as the women turn on each other, revealing deep resentment from the past. The film is a much deeper story than it at first appears, as characters are developed through unimaginable circumstance. Amazingly strong (and I mean that literally) acting from Natalie Mendoza and Shauna Macdonald especially, move the story along at a blistering pace, but not so fast that we don’t get to know them, and scream right along with them.

The Descent is a gripping character study that tugs at your senses, and pulls you down into a nightmare that will leave you curled up at the bottom of your seat when the end credits roll.

See photos from The Descent, read more about the film and see some truly creepy trailers RIGHT HERE

Review by editor Rene Carson © 2006

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