The Descent starts off looking like it’s going to be a very low budget affair, with some cheese and lots of predictability. But that’s just the start, a little bit of back history to set the scene.
Whilst not a big budget movie, The Descent’s director Neil Marshall has spent wisely putting the money into the most important shots, and crafting a tightly shot movie that manages to keep you freaked out and hugging the edge of your seat from the time things start to go wrong, right up until the credits roll.
Once we descend into the cave system, all thoughts of a budget slasher are gone, much like the hope of survival for the band of adventurous girls, who must now contend with more than just sub terrain dwelling creatures, but also paranoia, distrust and claustrophobia.
It’s these same feelings that the viewer goes through as the body count rises in what can only be described as one of the best survival horrors of recent times.
Neil Marshall has managed to exploit these emotions, and push every ounce of passion out of his crew of relatively unknown actors, to create a believable journey into the depths of fear, where you’ll find yourself grasping for breath as your brain tries in vain to keep up with the frantic pace of the story.
Visually dark and brooding, The Descent is not for the squeamish, as the celluloid soon becomes tinted with the blood of the hunters and well as the hunted, at times you’ll swear that the entire film stock has been tinted crimson.
But that’s not to say that Marshall has gone overboard with the splatter, it’s just that he’s tapped into the underlying human instinct for survival against all odds.
Food for thought
Trust is a commodity that is hard to acquire but easily lost.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence, Offensive Language & Horror.
Duration: 99 mins.
Actors: Alex Reid, Oliver Milburn, Natalie Mendoza, Saskia Mulder, Nora-Jane Noone, MyAnna Buring, Shauna Macdonald, Molly Kayll.
Director: Neil Marshall.
Release Date: Available Now.