Thursday, 4 December 2014

As Above, So Below

"As Above, So Below" (2014, John Erick Dowdle, Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures) is an American jump scare, found footage horror based in the catacombs of Paris.

Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is a student of alchemy, following her father's works after his death. She is obsessed with finding the Philosopher's stone, which is meant to grant eternal life, healing powers and, of course, the ability to turn base metals into gold. Oh alchemy, you weird 'science', you.

She, her ex, George (Ben Feldman) and their cameraman, Benji (Edwin Hodge), enlist the help of local urban expert, Papillon (Fran├žois Civil), and his girlfriend, Souxie (Marion Lambert) to guide them into and around the Catacombs of Paris.

As they go deeper in the Catacombs, they come across some freaky sights. They also come across a small door which none of the locals will go through, stating that a friend of theirs had gone through, never to return.

Eventually, they have no choice if they wish to progress, so they go through the door and that's when they begin to question if they have accidentally opened the teensy tiny doorway to hell.

A fun little flick that manages to add a small charm to found footage that found footage hasn't had since Troll Hunter. Jumpy, kind of daft scenes and good timing make for a fun, rollercoaster experience.

While it's not for everyone, I actually found that I enjoyed this film which came as a surprise because I am not usually one for found footage.

There are a lot of horror tropes in there, granted, but I thought that they were used remarkably well and, although the film leaves you a bit disorientated and a little seasick from all that shaky cam, it's certainly not one of the worst I've seen this year.

There is, however, an awful scene that jumps into Lara Croft single player POV for a while and I just found that weird and a little dumb. Surely, if it took them a whole film to reach that point, going back would not take five minutes? Pah!

Regardless, it's not a ground breaking experience but I've seen worse.

[Image: Legendary Pictures]

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