The Descent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Descent Reviews

October 15, 2008
Marshall could very well be the Caravaggio of the B-movie.
September 24, 2007
This intermittently effective UK horror thriller carefully establishes the psychological relationships among the women, then squanders this calibrated and generally plausible setup with a series of crude, implausible, and scattershot horror effects.
August 5, 2006
The Descent sustains a level of intensity that most horror films can barely muster for five minutes.
Read More | Original Score: B+
August 4, 2006
For my money, [the] first 20 or so minutes are the best in the film. Once the real adventure gets underway in the cave, things get less interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 4, 2006
While the movie has wonderful moments of unmotivated tension that make sure we're quite ill at ease from the beginning, it's also got a few too many of the kind of cheap boo-scares that indicate a director not fully trusting his grip on you.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 4, 2006
Tight shots of women desperately wriggling through worm holes or teetering on a ledge overlooking an abyss create a claustrophobic effect, one that leaves the characters gasping for air and the audience breathing shallower.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
Do we even need men in horror films any more? They're bound to do something stupid, they almost always get killed in the end and don't look as good covered in sweat and blood.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 4, 2006
Prepare to be scared senseless, and then, when you think you have it figured, your certainty will be shaken by scenes built to scare you even more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
This grueling trapped-in-a-cave-with-boogey-men movie is a solid thriller, and a terrific horror experience.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
August 4, 2006
Every theater should come with a sign: Your expectations must be this low to ride.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 4, 2006
Working on terrific sets with imaginative lighting effects and cinematography, Marshall creates a palpable sense of claustrophobia and danger well before murderous cave dwellers make their appearance quite a ways into the movie.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
This is one of the scariest movies featuring female heroines since the Alien series.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
The movie is also spooky and atmospheric, has at least three great jolts and an equal number of memorable gross-outs, including what has to be the goriest and most protracted eye-gouging of the year.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 4, 2006
The movie devolves into a conventional man-versus-nature pursuit, further marred by performances just this side of a high-toned porno and the frequently irrational behavior of its characters.
August 4, 2006
The Descent seems less about female empowerment than female misery. One wonders if Marshall has issues. No males suffer here, just women who, even if they survive, won't ever be the same again.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
August 4, 2006
The film redeems itself through the denouement, building on that initial psychological foundation to hint disturbingly at a metaphoric struggle with interior demons.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
The Descent is a sharp hammer to the head and a claw to the gut, a blood-drenched creep show that wants to eat you alive. Beware, and bon appetit.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 4, 2006
The Descent was better when the women were battling nature and their own demons rather than monsters capable of crawling across ceilings.
Read More | Original Score: C+
August 4, 2006
Finally, a scary movie with teeth, not just blood and entrails -- a savage and gripping piece of work that jangles your nerves without leaving your brain hanging.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
August 4, 2006
A cult classic is born.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2006
Sorry, George Lucas, but CGI creatures usually look pretty fake; the crawlers, however, are quite realistic and creepy, especially as they skitter over the walls and roofs of the caves.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 3, 2006
You genuinely care about the six women who enter a cave in the Appalachian mountains, only to discover it crawling with flesh-eating predators who have adapted to life in the dark.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 3, 2006
An object lesson in making a tightly-budgeted, no-star horror pic work through razor-sharp technique and committed performances alone.
August 3, 2006
The babes are buff and the scares bountiful in Neil Marshall's full-throttle horror freakout about six women on a caving expedition.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
August 3, 2006
It plays every emotional key of fright and despair with the skill of a concertmaster at a cathedral organ.
August 3, 2006
[Marshall] expertly maps out those raw nerve endings while creating credible characters who speak and act like real people rather than the usual horror archetypes.
August 3, 2006
[Marshall] does have a nice taste for horror imagery: The first glimpse of one of the creatures, as debased and revolting and craven as a living thing could be, will stay with you a long time.
August 3, 2006
One Aliens reference in this film had me welling up: A blood-soaked Sarah raises her torch, Sigourney Weaver-like, and lets out a banshee war cry.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 3, 2006
The Descent is simply a shock-'em, shake-'em genre piece with scare scenes that, however effective, suggest cheap-shop versions of a lot we've seen before.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 3, 2006
The movie's thrill-and-chill sequences are nasty and suspenseful, though once the creatures start to attack, the scenes get repetitive.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 3, 2006
The Descent doesn't need to exist: a script that goes beyond outlandish. Actors who'd flunk out of Make Believe 101. Blind creatures that see things. Did we mention continuity?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
August 3, 2006
Marshall understands that sometimes there's nothing quite as oddly exhilarating as the bleakest, no-way-out kind of horror.
Read More | Original Score: B+
August 2, 2006
Made with a connoisseur's love of muck, blood, inky darkness, and equal parts elegance and ewwww, The Descent raises the level of the post-Blair Witch, post-Open Water horror game.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 2, 2006
Not since John Sayles and Joe Dante unleashed Piranha and The Howling on Hollywood's New Morning have two features torn open the horror movie with the cut-rate ferocity and gleeful disreputability of [Neil] Marshall's Dog Soldiers and The Descent.
August 1, 2006
For horror fans and those who love things that go bump in the night, this is one not to miss.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
July 7, 2005
Thanks to its skilful director, well-cast actors and talented technical team, this fiercely entertaining British horror movie has blood, guts and brains.