Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)

I recently read in a horror magazine that this film was the best horror movie of the past 10 years. That alone is enough of a dare for me to see it. I am a sucker for reviews that refer to films which include the words "best" (though they frequently don't live up the expectation). And though I'm not sure I agree that this is the best horror film of the last 10 years, it was a "unique" experience, to say the least. Read on and I will explain.

The Descent follows an adventurous woman who's daughter and husband die in a freak accident. Her thrill-seeking friends invite her on a trip to explore some caves in the middle of nowhere. Things start to go to hell though when the group get trapped in the caves and it is revealed that one of the friends purposely led them into an undiscovered cave. This means unless they find a way out, their chances of being rescued are almost non-existent. To top it all off, they soon discover that they are not alone in the caves.

The Descent was a very effective horror film with lots of scares, gore and suspense. Like I said, this probably wouldn't get my vote for best horror film of the last 10 years, it was definitely one of the scariest and most original. There was one thing that really set this film apart from any other film I have seen (of any genre). When the group is climbing through the narrow tunnels of the cave, the atmosphere was so claustrophobic that I almost had to turn the movie off. I literally had to stand up and walk around because I felt like I was having a panic attack. It felt like the camera was closing in on you. I can only imagine what seeing this film in the theater must have been like. It was a unique feeling that I've never felt watching a film before. So in that aspect it was very scary and is not a film I will forget anytime soon.


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