Genre: ADVENTURE / HORROR / THRILLER
Release Dates: AUGUST 4, 2006
Afraid of the dark? You will be.
Face Your Deepest Fear.
Production Company: Celador
“When the light of day is turned off for five and a half million years, creatures trapped in perpetual darkness must learn to navigate without seeing, to live in an atmosphere that could kill outsiders and to make do without the solar energy that sustains the food chain elsewhere.”
Malcolm W. Brown, Science correspondent, The New York Times, December 12, 1995
One year after a tragic accident, six girlfriends meet in a remote part of the Appalachians for their annual extreme outdoor adventure, in this case the exploration of a cave hidden deep in the woods. Far below the surface of the earth, disaster strikes, and there’s no way out.
The group splinters and each woman pushes on, praying for another exit. But there is something else lurking under the earth. As the friends realize they are now prey, they are forced to unleash their most primal instincts in an all-out war against an unspeakable horror – one that attacks without warning, again and again and again.
Crew: Neil Marshall (director, writer); Keith Bell (associate producer); Christina Colson (producer); Ivana Mackinnon (associate producer); Paul Ritchie (co-producer); Paul Smith (executive producer)
Cast: Shauna Macdonald as Sarah, Natalie Jackson Mendoza as Juno, Alex Reid as Beth, Saskia Mulder as Rebecca, MyAnna Buring as Sam, Nora-Jane Noone as Holly, Oliver Milburn as Paul, Molly Kayll as Jessica
Studio: Pathe / Lions Gate Films
Film Fetish trivia:
After we see Sarah’s husband and the male extras in the hospital scene at the beginning, there are no male characters for the rest of the film.
The cast members were taken to a rock-climbing center to help prepare them for filming.
The appearance of the creatures was kept secret from the cast members until the first scene in which they encounter them was filmed.
MORE ON THE DESCENT
The Descent is Neil Marshall’s hotly anticipated follow up to his 2002 hit Dog Soldiers. Directed by Marshall from his own script, it tells the story of an all-female caving expedition that goes horribly wrong, and stars Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, Nora-Jane Noone and MyAnna Buring. Set in a cave system deep in the Appalachian Mountains, Marshall describes his film as ‘Deliverance goes underground’.
On a daredevil caving holiday, six women friends are unexpectedly trapped underground when a rock fall blocks their exit. Searching the maze of tunnels for a way out, they find themselves hunted by a race of fearless, hungry predators, once humanoid but now monstrously adapted to live in the dark…
As the others battle for their lives, Sarah (Macdonald), still recovering from a mental collapse brought on by the recent deaths of her family, is fighting for her sanity. When old secrets are revealed, the friends turn on one another, causing the group to implode. Betrayed and desperate, Sarah realizes that to make it back to the surface, she must become as savage as the creatures themselves.
The Descent was filmed on location in Scotland and at Pinewood Studios from December 2004 to February 2005, and was fully financed and produced by Celador Films. Celador’s Paul Smith is executive producer and Christian Colson is producer. The film reunites Marshall with Dog Soldiers’ director of photography, Sam McCurdy, and production designer, Simon Bowles. Celador’s previous credits include the Oscar-nominated Dirty Pretty Things.
The Descent movie has already had a hugely successful release both critically and commercially in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. In September, 2005 the film took the top competition prize — the Méliès d’Argent — for Euro feature at Lund International Fantastic Film Festival in Sweden, and in November, Neil Marshall won Best Director and the film Best Technical Achievement (for the Editing) at the British Independent Films Awards (BIFA’s) (The Descent was nominated for Best Film). It has also been nominated for Best British Film, Best British Director and Best British Producer by the London Film Critics Circle (the winners are announced in February), an unheard of achievement for a genre piece.