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
The film's poster art was borrowed from a portrait photograph by Philippe Halsman of Salvador Dalí, entitled "Salvador Dali In Voluptate Mors." (The photo itself was inspired by surrealist Dali's gouache "Female Bodies" as a Skull painting) This same imagery was also used for the poster for The Silence of the Lambs (1991). See more »
(at around 25 mins) When Juno lights the flare to reveal the interior of the cave, a crew man is visible below them. See more »
The noise she's making, she'll bring every one of those things down on her head.
As long as it's not on mine.
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While the credits start rolling, there is a picture of all the girls on the background. See more »
SPOILER: The endings of the US and UK versions differ. In the end, Sarah wakes up at the bottom of the cave, crawls out, and makes her way back to the car. When she is driving away, she pulls over and vomits, and when she leans back into the car, she is startled by the ghost of Juno sitting in the passenger seat. The US version cuts to the credits here. In the UK version, this apparition causes Sarah to wake up for real at the bottom of the cave, revealing her escape to be just a dream. She then has a vision of her daughter's birthday cake, which we see is just her torch. The camera backs out, the voices of the creatures can be heard again and are increasing in strength as they are closing in on her, and the movie ends. This ending was considered "too dark" for US audiences. See more »
If nightmare inducing horror is not your bag then the less you know about The Descent the better. Geordie writer-director Neil Marshall has delivered an accomplished, well acted, out and out horror movie that comes as much of a pleasant surprise as his first major feature Dog Soldiers did back in 2002. Shot in a mere 7 weeks The Descent sees a sextet of undeniably attractive action women leaping headfirst into an Appalachian potholing adventure that goes wrong so quickly you are left wondering if any one of them will survive, let alone ever see daylight again.
There are comparisons to be drawn to Marshall's 'Soldiers of course - again the story is stark and wonderfully economic. Again there is group of six people, predominantly one sex accompanied with a lurking, ominous threat and again there are more nods to popular film culture than you probably realise. The Descent however has a sense of humour that is suitably pitch black.
Long before the cave appears we play witness to a traumatic event that underlies the plot and serves to both unite and tear apart relationships in equal measure. Mostly affected are fragile Sarah and physically strong Juno, an adrenaline junkie who leads the group further and further beneath the ground. No time is wasted in recreating the primal feel of crawling through tunnels with hard hats scraping the dust from the rocks, choking and inducing paranoia all the way as it lingers in the stale, torchlit air. It's here Marshall gets a little inventive. Playing with various different lighting techniques our heroines become colour coded through scenes via glow-sticks, flashlights and video camera. Sounds echo when visuals are briefly lost and deliciously bone crunching they are too. Events escalate quickly and the whole ride becomes what can only be described as a non-stop relentless assault on the senses that will demand repeated viewing.
The only thing that will ruin this movie for you is word of mouth, which ironically is exactly what this film will need to become commercially viable. But the less you know, the more you will enjoy it. Have fun spotting references to Carrie and Apocalypse Now by all means, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a mere standard entry into the much saturated genre-movie staple. The Descent will rank as one of the most unashamedly terrifying British films ever made. It was made by people that love good cinema, and it shows. The Descent was made before The Cave, and now has an alternate ending for new audiences.
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