Refusing to believe her story about cave-dwelling monsters, the sole survivor of a spelunking exploration gone horribly wrong is forced to follow the authorities back into the caves where something awaits.
Michael J. Reynolds,
Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.
A woman goes on vacation with her friends after her husband and daughter encounter a tragic accident. One year later she goes hiking with her friends and they get trapped in the cave. With a lack of supply, they struggle to survive and they meet strange blood thirsty creatures. Written by
After watching "The Descent", my bud Robert and I decided that spelunking would now come off both our "To Do" listsfor good. Writer and Director Neil Marshall's "The Descent" crafts and sustains an unrelenting tension throughout, once you get past the suspended disbelief. As I watched the women one by one crawl through the tiny water filled crevice to enter the caverns somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, I thought, "How are they going to get back? They've got to be nuts!" Well, you just have to go with it. Well, kind of. Fortunately, director Marshall effectively pretexts the story. The prior thrill-seeking jaunt for the group was a white water rafting trip. Following that trip, Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) suffers a life altering tragedy. A year later, Sarah and her close friend Beth (Alex Reid) join up with the gang at a cabin in the Appalachians. The 6 women are gearing up for a cave exploration trip headed by Juno (Natalie Mendoza). Apparently, Juno regrets not being there for Sarah following her personal tragedy and recovery. Juno sees this trip as an opportunity to empower Sarah. Those along for the ride include Becca (Saskia Mulder), Sam (MyAnna Buring), and Holly (Nora-Jane No one).
The trip starts out curious enough when Juno (Mendoza) discards her map of the caves. The women proceed, and are undeterred by the telltale signs of mysterious animal carcasses. Not surprisingly, the cave exploration goes horribly wrong. They are lost without a clue how to get out, and they are being hunted by terrifying fleshing eating creatures. So the women are literally in the fight for their lives. Marshall masterfully orchestrates the mood and tension. My bud Robert keenly pointed out that what really works in "The Descent" is that it never evolves into a trite action movie. No one screams, "Take that you, Mother F-----!" Granted Marshall may have intended his story as an empowerment allegory. The women are authentically terrified, and fight with all their courage and heart amidst their overwhelming fear. Somehow while they are thrashing and being thrashed by the fierce creatures, it is all strangely believablestrangely. Rather it gets you thinking: "Would I do the same?" Sarah (Macdonald) and Juno (Mendoza) in particular emerge as forces to be reckoned with. Mendoza's Juno warrior spirit is consistent and engagingshe is the brash leader. MacDonald is powerful and believable in Sarah's emergence as a heroic presence. All the performances are strong throughout.
Marshall maintains a claustrophobic feel and keeps us on edge. The unveiled details involving the cave creatures regarding their possible evolution is a nice touch. "The Descent" has to be one of the most gory horror movies with realistic violenceand I am not a big horror fan. However, I am a big hero fan. "The Descent" has great women heroes. Shauna Macdonald and Natalie Mendoza are awesome. "The Descent" is a wild tension filled ride. At the very end one wonders, "What next?"
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