Review of The Descent (2005)

7 Apr

The Descent (2005) is a horror/adventure/drama film about a group of women who go cave exploring only to find that the cave has been explored before them.

Directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers (2002), Centurion (2010)).

Written by Neil Marshall (Killing Time (1998), Doomsday (2008)).

Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder and others.

There’s really not many horror movies where the main cast consists solely of women, but here we are following six women, who have in my opinion one of the worst hobbies imaginable. Fucking cave exploring.

I prefer to think of myself as reasonably claustrophobic. Rides in elevators don’t bother me at all, scenes in action movies where people are crawling through vents make me feel slightly uneasy and the thought of crawling through sections of caves, where there is no possibility to turn around, stand up or be sure you won’t be squashed by some boulders is fucking terrifying to me. So I guess I’m the target audience of this particular horror movie.

The movie starts a year before the main events with the women doing some dangerous shit in the water (was it rafting?) as our main character’s husband and daughter wave to her from the shore. As they get ashore, it is important that you don’t miss some very meaningful glances between some characters as they foreshadow some tension which leads to the finale, there’s other hints sprinkled throughout the movie, some of which make sense only after seeing it.

The husband is distracted on the ride home and causes an accident, which leads to Sarah running through a hospital hall and having a Hitchcock zoom performed on her. There’s other consequences as well.

So a year goes by, the women gather to have a new adventure, because doing dangerous shit isn’t half as risky as being distracted on the ride home. And as I mentioned they go cave exploring. To spice things up, the leader of their expedition decides to fuck safety and go to the caves where allegedly no one has ever been before. What can I say, that’s the greatest idea ever. If you’re a professional team of scientists and everything, but not if you’re a bunch of chicks, who cleared out the rock climbing equipment and flashlight store.

Of course they soon start regretting they’re choice, even before they realize that they are surrounded by a bunch of flesh-eating bat-humanoid creatures, who have evolved to have great hearing, no eyesight and look like Nosferatu and Gollum had children. Seriously, the first time one of them suddenly appears I nearly shat myself. The make-up is just awesome.

The caves we see were actually built sets, but there is no way you can tell, at first I was wondering how the hell they shot it in actual caves. The few, low powered light sources really help in concealing the fact that they are not real, while also creating the atmosphere and claustrophobic feeling. But it also made it kind of hard to tell the women apart at times, the fact that they were in helmets, dirty and had different accents and names I did not manage to memorize.

The movie does raise a lot of questions, mostly about the creatures, but I enjoyed the movie enough, to let it go. I stopped worrying and learned to love The Descent.

Overall, definitely one of the best horror movies of the 2000’s, a creature feature where the creatures aren’t the only scary thing. Recommended for sure.

Evolution of crawlers explained.

8 Responses to “Review of The Descent (2005)”

  1. Aloha Mister Hand April 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    So glad you finally watched it and liked it!
    Isn’t it fantastic?
    I watch it all the time 🙂

    • karlails April 8, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Yeah, it’s really great. I’d probably see it again soon, since I plan on showing it to some not horror savvy friends.

      • Aloha Mister Hand April 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

        Awesome! That’d be a good one to show others, for sure. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this movie, so I’m glad you reviewed it 😉

  2. Aloha Mister Hand April 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Hey, write more! 🙂 LOL

    • karlails April 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      Well, I sure can’t keep up with you, you’re blasting out reviews like there’s no tomorrow! 😀
      However, yes, a Halloween 6 review is coming up later today.

      • Aloha Mister Hand April 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

        Haha, sorry! If I get an idea in my head, I run with it, because I’m afraid I’ll forget what I was going to say, lol! 🙂 Yay, I can’t wait! woo hoo!

        • karlails April 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

          Unless I see a movie in a theatre or am really into it, I usually take notes, it helps not forgetting things, but it’s sometimes hard for myself to understand what I meant when I wrote it. Like if I write “that guy is so annoying” after a couple of months when I actually write the review, I have no idea what I’m talking about.
          So your way is probably better.

          • Aloha Mister Hand April 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

            Hahahaha! I know what you mean! You’re definitely right, I have a hard time remembering what the hell I was talking about when I go back and read something, like lyrics to a song I like, and I didn’t bother to write the word lyrics on the page. I sometimes think, hmm, maybe a ghost wrote this! LMAO! 🙂 Also, I’ve been reviewing movies that I love or that made me feel a certain way whether good or bad, so it helps when I’m passionate about it.

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