THE DESCENT – a movie review

Okay, so for those folks out there who follow this blog – I heartily apologize.

I am a bad, bad, bad blogger. I mean, how long ago did I last blog? It’s been freaking ages.

So let’s just jump right into the blog!

Folks always ask me for my movie suggestions – so here’s one we watched earlier this week. It’s a movie called THE DESCENT, directed by the same director who made one of my favorite werewolf movies, Neil Marshall.Belinda and I originally watched this movie in a theatre and it rocked back then. It is a scary, creepy, claustrophobic film that is guaranteed to make you jump when you watch it.

By the halfway point of the movie you are going to be looking over your shoulder to see if something is behind you. Before you are done watching, you will be checking the walls and ceiling of your living room to make sure there isn’t anything clinging to it.

It is THAT scary.

The second half of the film is shot in the darkness of a cave – and yet we have no difficulty following the story in spite of the darkness. Most movies that depend on shooting in the dark run the risk of confusing their audience – such as the last big battle in the last season of GAME OF THRONES (pardon me while I turn and spit). They completely screwed up what should have been an epic battle the forces of good, evil and not-so-evil when they decided to shoot the so-called “Battle of Winterfell”.

And please do NOT get me started ranting about the absolute pure and undiluted unholy suckitude of that last season of GAME OF THRONES. All I will tell you is that I have got the first seven seasons of GAME OF THRONES on DVD, and after watching that last eighth season I truly believe that I am NEVER going to watch those seven seasons again. I mean, that’d be like getting married to someone who divorces you ten years later and then inventing a dimensional-crossing time machine so that you can go back those ten years and marry that person all over again.

Who needs the grief???

However, in THE DESCENT that darkness plays a part in the irresistible terror of this movie. It is like the ultimate scary campfire story. The little flickers of light around the darkness of the cavern draw you in and make you lean forward in your chair, absolutely terrified that something is going to reach out of that television screen and grab you by the throat. The pale white almost-leech-like skin of the crawlers will totally creep you out.

It is interesting to note that this movie ISN’T actually shot in a cavern. They had planned to, but then in the interest of actor safety and film crew logistics, they built a series of sets and shot from many different angles. So the cave was nothing but a group of hot sets, that added to the feeling that you (as well as the actors) were absolutely lost.Neil Marshall ALSO insisted that rather than using stuntmen, dancers, and contortionists to play the maggoty-white crawling cave-creatures that he hired professional actors to play the monsters. He wanted the skills that these actors could bring to the screen to show each creature as being unique. In all fairness, I don’t know if his gamble paid off, in that they all looked much the same especially given the fleeting glimpses we catch of each critter. However, I admire the creative thought demonstrated by the filmmakers decision to stick with professional actors the way that he did.

So in closing, my recommendation to those of you who are hankering for a scary creature film, to give this one a watch. I recommend that you turn out the lights in the living room. Keep your snacks handy so that you don’t have to interrupt the hour and a half watch time with kitchen breaks. Wait until late at night to watch this flick and prepare yourself for a truly terrifying jump flick that is well-worth watching.

We caught it on Amazon Prime.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

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