The Descent

Ok! I just got back from seeing this flick with a friend of mine. We snuck in a can of "reduced fat" pringles, twizz and waters. (I got the reduced fat because my head is big and round again and I gotta watch my gut before I actually have to buy new clothes). Anyway, after wading through a bunch of super unimpressive previews. This flick starts up and within five minutes I was completely onboard.

I sort of knew next to nothing about this film going in. It was mysterious because of that weird foreign film sideways marketing campaign feel. Where you know something ain't screwed on tight in terms of packaging. All of a sudden it was here. Starless.Smelling like old blood. With a vibe that seemed to say this might be a scarily good movie that wandered into our theaters as a gift for the starved horror junkies everywhere. I was psyched and put on my bib in the hopes of being spoonfed bloodred dread before bed.

As the movie goes along I was maintaining a check list-- and the flick was passing with flying colors. Let's see... A scary flick with no guys around at all. New. I dig it. Check. Decent attempt to establish actual characters. 3 out of 5 worked and stuck. Good enough. Check. Cheapy docu-feel to some degree. Check. And the friggin craziness of the idea of people actually liking the idea of going down into a dark creepy cave to look around. CHECK! Love it! Granted I'm not much of an outdoorsguy but sperplunking always struck me as extra mental. Climbing a mountain! I get it! I get scuba diving! I get even friggin sky diving! But heading down in a cave? On purpose? For fun?? To have the ability to overcome that level of claustrophobia is way beyond me. I get nervous in friggin basements.

And that's what I really liked about this movie. For the first half these five women are poking around down in this creepy cave. And it was freaking me out. The idea of being trapped and alone down under the ground is so heavy. Breathing is so loud. Any rumble a threat that you might be dead any second. Reliance on ropes and other people. Being responsible for someone if they get hurt. Dripping water noise torture. No fast way out. No hopes that yelling will help. And for the first half of this flick... I think I was actually breathing faster than normal. I was loving how freaked out I was...

Then the (cough) "scary stuff" started happening. And at first I was thrilled! It creepy crawled right into the flick! I was like, 'Holy moly! This movie could turn out to be fantastic!' And for ten minutes or so it was all way good in the way bad way. But then something happened. The movie turned up the horror action volume like annoying loud and shut off the shudder. It became... bad. The scary stuff wasn't really scaring me like it was supposed to. Not even the jump out from around the corner shockseconds were making me flinch. Fight scenes looked like they were edited together in a blender. The blood was too clear and bright. Logic started to frizzout and wobble for both the women and the others. And unrealistic lady heroics watered down the terror and fear like a... um... like a.... like a wet t-shirt contest?... with...umm... the terror.... being the boobs?

Three Good Things About this Movie

- The first half of this movie makes this movie worth seeing.
- For a while it tiptoed around in Blair Witchy Open Wateryland.
- Caves are cool looking.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I heard how they changed the original ending. Disgraceful. Criminal. And ball-less.
- It hits the wall pretty hard.
- Two out of the five characters were faceless nobodys.

All in all, I was definitely way pumped up with closed off awfulness for the first chunk of this film. But the deeper they got into the caves the more I wish the movie just left them alone. The uninvited guests were way overkill and sort of unnecessary. They could have stayed home or deep in the shadows. I wouldn't have missed them. Don't bother with the "horror". Bottom line, no jump out schlocky blood spurt is gonna freak me out more than being alone in a cave with no way out.... while the light on my helmet grows dimmer and dimmer-- and the noises all around get louder and weirder.

I couldn't believe they missed that easy lay-up.