10 March 2011

Ally's Review: The Descent

I must admit that I wasn't expecting too much from this film. A modern British horror? The chances of it being any good were minimal at best. If I had known before we started watching that it was from the director of Dog Soldiers I probably would have made my excuses. However, I was very surprised to find out that this was actually a very good movie.

Not only was it a very good movie (well acted, well paced etc.) but it is balls out scary. The director does a tremendous job of making the viewer really feel the claustrophobia, the unforgiving tightness and jaggedness of the cave. It is a difficult watch even before any uninvited guests turn up. But when the group we've been following finally have company… I'm not afraid to say that I screamed like a little girl. I wasn't expecting it and my only saving grace was that Fin screamed just as loud, and just as girlishly, as I did.

Unmercifully, it's not just a quick blast of horror once they arrive - it goes on for hours and hours (well… it felt that way, it was probably only about 30 minutes) and there are few let ups. I spent most of the remaining time with my face turned away from the screen. It's at times like these I question why I watch a horror movie every week.

The story zips along as the race to find a way out - and an escape from those nasty troglodyte creatures - becomes increasingly desperate. You also have changing opinions about characters, as the situation brings out new revelations. You shout at them for speaking too loudly or for making dumb decisions. In other words, you are fully immersed in their struggle and that is always a clear indicator that you're watching a good movie.

Any horror fan who appreciates the ending of the Mist will have similar feelings about the Descent. It's a really fresh, exciting and terrifying horror film - and I'm happy to admit that my initial scepticism was misplaced.

Definitely worth watching.

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