Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Descent

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

I actually had a night to myself last week (surprisingly, given all the other jam-packed activity that filled up my vacation), so I decided to suck it up and rent this, despite it being on my queue list at the library. What can I say, I had the X-mas spirit in me! ; )

Plotline: A group of female friends head off to a caving expedition together. Things start to fall apart when the nature of the cave is revealed to them, by both their guide and the inhabitants lurking within.

Scariness factor: It had me creeped out in a glorious psychological and claustrophobic sorta way until about the last 30 minutes when we actually get to SEE the creatures in the cave. It was downhill from there.

Gross-Out Factor: The dvd is unrated, so they don't leave much to the imagination--particularly fingers in eyeballs.

Complaints: I was so excited to see this damn movie--it's actually been popping up on a lot of Best Movie of the Year lists, surprisingly. I was even moreso excited to see it knowing that it's pretty much an all-female cast, minus the male who dies in the first 5 minutes and the (for the most part asexual) cave-dwellers. And damn if it didn't have me going for a good hour. But then I hit the last 30 minutes and I couldn't help but be sorely disappointed. The beginning is wonderful--playing on the creepiness of the cave, of exploration, of claustrophobia. Had they kept going with this, had they played up the notion of cave-hallucinations touched upon briefly in the movie, never letting us know if the creatures were being imagined or real, it would've truly been fantastic. But instead, we get cordially introduced to them, in blinding light, free of the shadows of the cave. At that precise moment, it got all lamed up. I'd like to say that the more feminist-ish force of the movie redeemed it, but they tanked that too when, after one character lengthily explains how the creatures must've evolved to adapt to the darkness (no sight, amplified hearing, albino-skin, complete hairlessness), a clearly female creature attacks AND SHE HAS LONG DARK HAIR!!! Right then, I wanted to punch a baby. A cave-species is either gonna adapt to all be hairless for some reason that will serve to benefit their species, or they're gonna adapt to all have some form of hair for the very same reason. THERE IS NO LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR THE WOMEN CAVE-CREATURES BEING THE ONLY ONES TO GROW HAIR, AND LONG F-ING HAIR AT THAT, cuz god forbid you the viewer thought them to be dyke-y short-haired butch cave-dwelling wormish chicks. Fah.

High Points: Like I said, the first hour is very very good. Spooky. Claustrophobic. Good acting. Really quite decent. The last 1/2 an hour, not so much.

Overall: This movie is worth renting for the first hour. If you fall asleep during the last 30 minutes though, don't rack up your late-fees at Blockbuster because it really ain't worth your time.

Grade: B/C

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At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this flick! but you're right, the ending was pretty weak. (both the us and uk endings actually)

While the creatures weren't all that, I still loved the first reveal!

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably in my top 10 of all times, and it scared the bejezzus out of me!

I think it helped that I went to see it in the cinema without knowing a THING about it- was it man versus man? man versus monster? man versus psyche? And thats the best way to see a movie, especially a horror flick. When the big reveal came (camcorder) the audience, including myself, collectively shit ourselves.

I didn't even register the hairless/crawler-chick-with-hair thing, but you're so right! (By the way did you watch the extras on the DVD? Those things are called Crawlers. Who knew.)

But I loved the idea, loved the surprises, loved the ending.

They're making a sequel though! Way to beat a dead horse, hey?

At 3:04 AM, Anonymous scary clips said...

I'd give it a C


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