Posted on 7/10/07 04:58 AM
The wife and I sat down to watch Neal Marshall?s intense horror film The Descent. This is the only film I have seen from this director but I can tell since it was his second film he has all the potential in the world. Let?s look at The Descent. A wonderfully acted, beautifully shot film that is scary as hell and intense as all get out. First the tech stuff. From a technical standpoint it?s a masterpiece. Marshall and his D.P. Sam McCurdy use several things at there deposal to make this as atmospheric a horror film as possible.
Take for example when the women enter the cave and get into all sorts of trouble. Marshall and McCurdy use several things to light what would be pitch black as is explained in the movie. From the flashlights to the flares they are for a very practical purpose which is to light the cave but it make the cave to me anyways look absolutely beautiful. Also it gives our good friends the crawlers a more interesting look. Having watched the special features on the DVD before I can attest that there not very scary looking yet in a dark cave lit by nothing except flashlights and flares they are scary as hell.
Production Designer Simon Bowles should also be given credit for creating such a convincing environment as to which these women are trapped and the creatures can live. As for the creatures themselves they don?t appear halfway through the movie but when they do you will jump out of your seat like Mrs. Deadite and I did. Marshall himself should be given all the credit in the world for creating a wonderfully atmospheric and tense horror film. He gets lumped in with the likes of Eli Roth but in reality he is so much better then that hack.
Here he creates convincing characters that are very real. The woman in this movie are real characters and not helpless victims or clichéd action heroines. This is not Kill Bill which is fine for what it does but this is a different beast. The women he created are as real as any characters put to screen in this type of film I think. It to me makes it scarier to see real people in a situation like this because they all react differently and according to there personalities. They stayed consistent through out and a lot of that credit goes to the actresses themselves. My two favorite and I think the best performances in the film come from Natalie Mendoza as Juno and Shauna Macdonald as Sarah.
Not only is this a terrific creature flick and atmospheric horror its also a wonderful psychotically horror as well. A lot of this comes from the character of Sarah after losing her husband and child at the beginning of the film. At first some scenes seem out of place yet the reality is Marshall ties everything together. I was reminded of Ridley Scott and early John Carpenter watching this film. So I highly give The Descent a 9/10.
P.S. My wife is a horror nut and this movie scarred the living crap out of her so you know its effective.