Monday, 23 July 2012

The Descent

"The Descent" (2005, Celador Films, Lionsgate, Neil Marshall) is an excellent 'adventure into the unknown' horror with an all female cast.

Now, as a girl, I am extremely disappointed in myself, but I am usually not a big fan of women in horror movies. They're; whingy, slutty, screaming nymphos; useless, screaming, panicky morons or overly-tough-screaming-bitches.

Very few films in the horror genre portray female characters in a likable light." The Descent", however, does. I can honestly say, hands down, that I can easily ignore the fact that all the characters are female and just enjoy the film. That says a lot in horror.

We follow a group of women who are on a caving trip. They're all experienced cavers and are on the trip to help our lead character, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), who recently lost her husband and daughter in an extremely violent and shocking introductory scene.

Juno (Natalie Mendoza) is Sarah's best friend, and is the person who set up the trip as a way to say "sorry for not being there for you". How nice.

It all begins to go awry, however, when the team find out that Juno has purposefully chosen unchartered caves for their trip, believing that she can make them all famous. Things go further awry when they discover the true nature of the caves and what lies within them.

A fantastic on-the-edge-of-your-seat atmosphere and some truly grilling scenes (lots of gorey injuries to feast your eyes on, too) really make this movie a must-see.

The movie could have actually done without the monsters; being lost in an undiscovered cave with no equipment and injured or dead buddies is surely horrific enough? But you know, the quick jump from action-survival horror into monster-survival horror is seamless and effective. We also get to know our remaining characters better.

Now, for all you poor folks who only have the US ending at your disposal, let me tell you you're missing out. The true ending is haunting and awesome. Don't be fooled by the production company setting up for a sequel. I haven't seen "The Descent 2", and possibly won't, I'm not sure, but I hold true to the original UK ending; brutal!

Very well acted and the action is superb. The monsters are nicely made-up and like to jump out at you. Even the scenes prior to the monsters will definitely keep you watching.

My only real flaw with this film's plot? Surely it takes longer than that for humans to mutate and evolve into such creatures? But believe me, this won't bother you while you're watching.

[Picture: Celador Films]


ps - likely to be a bit of a gap in reviews whilst I go on a quick holiday to Italy! Will be back to my horrific viewings next weekend!