The Descent (Original Unrated Cut) [Blu-ray]
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After a year's hiatus due to a terrible family tragedy, you decide it's time to hook up with your girls and shake the bad memories on a spelunking outing.
You head to a remote area of the Appalachian Mountains to some charted caves recommended by a spelunking guide, according to one of your group members. You embark with 6 friends into the caves from the highpoint in the mountain...down...down...down through the bowels of the mountain in search of an exit at a lower point.
Then two of a plethora of bad things happen. A tunnel that you came through is sealed off leaving you only one way to go...down. And your partner reveals the reality that a guide didn't recommend the caves at all; she thought it would make the excursion more adventurous in unexplored caves. There is no charted way out.
Think that's a problem? How about shining your light down the next tunnel where you see an eerie human-ish looking figure crouched in the dark peering back at you?
The Descent has chills. There's high suspense. It goes without saying that there are good old fashioned jump-out-of-the-dark scares (they are in a cave!). No special effects needed here to generate excitement. The creatures are well designed and scary.
The story flows very well. The acting is better than the average Horror flick. And Director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers) keeps a better than average flow of twists and turns coming.
Do indeed see it if you're into the genre. The Descent is one of the movies on my Amazon Listmania List, "15 Flicks Guaranteed To Leave A Permanent Impression".
Note: The US theatrical version had a lame ending compared to the original UK version. The US DVD release gives you the option of which ending you'd prefer to view. Go with the original.
The preliminary setup is a good one. Our heroines begin to explore some unknown, uncharted cave systems and quickly become trapped. Now our ladies must use their resourcefulness and intelligence to try to get out. The dynamics start to play out between the women--good and bad--and a real fear for survival starts to set in. We are squarely in a man versus nature psychological thriller atmosphere. It recalls for me "Open Water"--a film whose horror is about helplessness and being stranded, not about sharks.
But just as soon as I was sure where I was headed, the rug was pulled out. The last third becomes a monstrously bloody battle for survival. It is so well choreographed, I was sucked in wholeheartedly. And far from being victims--our heroines exhibit intelligence, brutality, resilience, loyalty and a real survival instinct. We've got some real female empowerment going on! For pure horror, this film goes out with a real bang.
I was completely blindsided by this one. There's a good screenplay, a credible backstory, appealing actresses, great cinematography and nice effects.
"The Descent" may not be the "best" movie I see this year--but as a pure adrenaline rush, I promise you it will be one of my favorites. KGHarris, 12/06.
***UPDATE*** Coming from someone who saw the American theatre ending,IMO the original UK ending that comes with the widescreen unrated original cut is excellent & just as good if not better than the shortened American theatre version.
The power of this film is how it works well on several levels using action, psychology, and the group dynamics of the six women as they attempt to survive and escape, not just one stressful, very physical and mental challenge, but a second very terrifying one simultaneously. Bottle this up in a claustrophobic environment inherently hostile to humans and that amplifies the level of terror.
The film is a UK production released in the UK a year before the US release with a different ending. This Blu-ray has the original UK ending (an unrated cut in US) and the modified ending with additional cuts released in the US as it received slightly higher ratings from US test audiences. Which cut to view appears as an option when selecting the main movie from the main menu. I prefer the original UK ending, but encourage viewing both and making one's own decision.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good creepy scare. A classic for sure. One tip is to keep in mind it's a dark lit movie so adjust color to see better if needed.Published 4 days ago by Pierre AVila
This movie does great with building characters and terrifying viewers. It's nice to see a movie with strong women who can kick ass without wearing some skimpy costume.Published 21 days ago by Rizi
One of the best scary movies of all time. A must watch for any scary movie fan.Published 21 days ago by amazingspiderman
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