A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
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?"
- Aug 18, 2006