The Descent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Descent Reviews

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June 8, 2018
An intense intelligent monster movie.
June 4, 2018
Such a scariest movie in my life
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2018

'The Descent' Takes A Fall

What starts off as a promising, filmed-in-England suspense tale about what befalls a sextet of female spelunking friends degenerates into a routine "they're all around us!" horror movie, complete with a ridiculous final *gasp* shot. A shame and a disappointment given its reputation. I would have preferred to see a more fully character-driven, who-can-you-trust? scenario that is hinted at during the first half, however once the other elements are introduced midway the proceedings become routine with a capital ROUTE. As in, I could instantly see where it was headed - right down that craggy shaft.

I will say there is a lot of rewatchability in this flick because of the characters and direction, just like in Dog Soldiers Neil Marshall knows how hold an audience's breathless attention. Some of the gore is the most gruesome I've ever seen (not necessarily a good thing), the capper is the setting of a broken leg bone - I have to look away during that scene! Incredible to realize the cave interiors were actually filmed on a sound stage.


I was right about its rewatchability, the characters and their bonding are so tightly knit that it makes their predicament and fear that much more dreadful. I realized that I should review the movie that was made and not the movie I think they should have made, and as it turns out they made one of the scariest, most effective horror films of the 2000s. The creatures and their outstanding freaky makeup show up after 57 minutes so there's plenty of white-knuckle suspense leading up to all hell breaking loose. The cast is terrific with Natalie Mendoza as Juno one of my all-time favorite horror movie heroes. Or is she really a villain? You'll have to decide for yourself. One more note, I saw the US ending when writing the first review, the original ending (available on the Unrated DVD) is a big improvement, even if it leaves us scratching our heads a little.
May 11, 2018
Claustrophobic and painfully tense, "The Descent" shows that the realistic dangers of caves can be just as terrifying as the the things that lurk inside them.
½ April 26, 2018
A terrifyingly claustrophobic film that is not for the faint of heart. The first half of the film is more of an adventure/survival story with hints of something darker but the third act is where the film goes nuts. This is an on the edge of your seat horror/thriller that will make you never want to set foot in a cave again.
April 18, 2018
Irritating at first but gets better as it goes on.
April 10, 2018
I have NO IDEA how this movie has such a high rating. The British must have very different ideas as to what makes a good horror movie, but this movie was literally the worst. My friends and I laughed the whole time at how awful it was. If you want a good laugh, go for it!
April 6, 2018
This is my all-time scariest movie. It has every element of horror in it- tragedy, gore, supernatural and claustrophobia. If you're looking for a GOOD scary movie, this is the one.
March 29, 2018
This film is not very good. I wanted a caving movie. Not a movie about little monster people ij caves. It wasnt very scary, unnecessarily gross and disgusting. This had nothing to do with caves other than a backdrop.
½ March 22, 2018
I never understood the popularty on this one.
March 22, 2018
"The Descent" es un film de terror que se basa en dos ideas principales: el miedo a la oscuridad y a los espacios cerrados. La película desarrolla ambos conceptos con creces, sin recurrir a los ya conocidos clichés que uno podría esperar en este tipo de producciones. Sin embargo, desde el inicio del film, uno puede notar una visión distinta a lo convencional, golpeando al espectador con acertadas y poderosas escenas de terror, drama, acción y suspenso. A nivel de producción, la película no escatima en detalles y, más bien, los aprovecha al máximo para generar escenarios claustrofóbicos, donde los personajes quedan a merced de sus peores miedos y del conjunto de criaturas que residen en las profundidades de la tierra.
Si bien, se comenta que existen dos fines alternativos (según la región donde fue estrenado el film), de los cuales uno es más extenso que el otro. En este caso, optaré por quedarme con el final que pude apreciar allá por el 2007, el del "pastel, la antorcha y la cueva". Si se toma esto en consideración, podremos concluir que Neil Marshall ha dejado una valla muy alta para cualquier aspirante al cine de terror que cometa el pecado de caer en convencionalismos. Aquí tenemos una película con varios ejemplos de cómo construir escenas de dicha naturaleza con herramientas y enfoques alternativos.
½ February 24, 2018
After my first viewing of The Descent I had it marked as a 2.5* which was vastly overrated. But after my 2nd viewing I've changed my mind and now rate it a 3.5*. The movie is very tense and suspenseful if you let yourself get into it and buy into the adventure. The ending leaves something to be desired, but other than that it's a very good movie that has quite a few scares in addition to the tense atmosphere throughout.
February 13, 2018
A group of thoroughly unlikable young women, who speak entirely in exposition dumps, dive into a cave and get killed by lame gollum knockoffs.
Dreadfully paced, poorly written, and woefully acted, "The Descent"'s enduring popularity remains a mystery to me.
The experience of watching this film can be accurately recreated by grabbing the Christmas lights from your attic, shutting off all other light sources, and then having the bulbs talk to each other for an hour - just remember to give the bulbs such awful personalities that you'll want to smash them within 15 minutes of beginning this ridiculous exercise.
Bad, bad, bad!
½ January 31, 2018
The film is extremely intense at times. I also like how it makes you feel a bit claustrophobic. But some of the choices made by the characters were laughably dumb.
January 11, 2018
taut, claustrophobic, and tension-filled. the entire cast give great performances and the lighting is some of the best I've ever seen. a modern classic
December 31, 2017
'The Descent' does a great job of conveying the claustrophobic and tension felt by the characters in the film. It does very little hand-holding and whatever important plot points it needs to carry across, it usually does it twice just in case you missed it once but not in an obvious or obnoxious way, which was enjoyable to see. Its lighting also deserves a mention, for in the limited spaces wherein most of the action occurred, the lighting throughout most of the film was consistently believable and always enhanced the mood.
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2017
A staple of fantastic modern British horror, the Descent relies on two things to terrify it's audience; the bolstering and passionate performances of the all-female cast who present genuine and relateable characters and also the steady direction of Neil Marshall who magically manages to make a potholing tunnel in an underground network of caves seem even more claustrophobic and tiny than it actually is. The pacing of the film is incredible, with shocks and frights occurring when you least expect them, suggesting the ideas behind the film are creative and committed. Macdonald and Mendoza lead in matters of quality of performance, yet all of the actors are fantastic. The creatures that reside in the cave are merely coincidental as the real horror comes from the girls' having to face their own demons and more horrifyingly, each other and the darkness that seems to get darker and darker until it eventually envelopes them completely. The Descent can easily swear you off any extreme sports for life, particularly spelunking or potholing. The horror is both psychologically biting and physically strong in the Descent.
October 28, 2017
Claustrophobic and well-acted, The Descent takes a while to get going but it exhibits a thoroughly tense atmosphere throughout
October 27, 2017
Extremely Amazing Scenery And Cinematography and the suspense and horror in The Descent is just the cherry on top of a perfect terrifying flick
October 27, 2017
The Descent started to frighten me long before any creatures showed up. This movie plays on multiple fears at the same time and that's what makes it effective. It also takes its time to build up suspense before it gets to the truly gruesome parts. I don't think I'll be going spelunking any time soon after watching this film.
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