- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Descent, The (2005)
Genre: Horror Adventure Thriller (UK)
Starring: Shauna MacDonald (The Debt Collector), Natalie Jackson Mendoza (Moulin Rouge!)
Directed By: Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers)
Overview: A year after a tragic accident kills her family, Sarah's best friends decide to take her on a thrill-ride of a spelunk. It goes horribly wrong however, and the group faces being trapped and stalked by the underground dwellers.
My guest mentioned that the acting on Natalie's part, in the role of tough and bold, catalyst-creating, chip-on-her-shoulder Juno was frankly unbelievable. I argued in favour of her skill, as well as that of all the other players. I would say that the tasks given to these six ladies and their predators were fulfilled to the best of their ability. The veneer of 'not perfect' came from the confines of a film not focussed on character development. When people have no depth, they tend not to seem that deep, go figure.
Apocalypse Now, Carrie, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Blair Witch Project, The Alien Trilogy... Off the top of my head, these are the films that The Descent most notably 'borrows' from, visually. Some may go as far as saying 'rips-off', or politely attest as 'tributes'. I'll remain neutral. This is one of those movies that, like Slither, will raise the bar on the look of Horror film. This is not a milestone film by any account, but there are some great moments like dynamically choreographed fight scenes and sets that truly invite the paranoia it purports to deliver. It will make the next Horror filmmaker think a little bit more about what their project will do to please the eyes.
As expected the script is fairly rote, and focuses on instruction: 'Tie this here and hook that there', 'Don't go that way!', 'Set that bone', 'Chop that freak in the skull!' I was pleased however that the introductory scenes where we meet everyone didn't seen too forced, and those scenes where panic takes over are really well written. Lucky to get this in a horror film, of course, it's from Europe, so that automatically makes it better than Hollywood, right?
I was surprised at the premise that the women would actually put up a fight. In Alien, it's all about not getting stalked, because if you are, you're dead. I mean that's why the cat makes it out right? In this, the women have pointy spelunking tools and survival instincts that turn them pretty vicious pretty quick, and rather than simply turning this into a 'get the hell out' plot, there's even a teeny tiny little subplot that adds a welcome... twist isn't the right word, um, incline let's say.
A good friend of mine declined attending the soirée as he heard this was ripe with 'cheap scares', the kind where quiet suddenly erupts into bats flying out, or a hissing cat leaps away. Well, he was right: 7 cheap scares. I admit that I didn't like that side of it either, but the drawn out moments of claustrophobic stress and the fight the girls have to put up against the creatures they face do a great job of making up for it. I got creeped out a couple times, and I was having loads of fun during the viewing. That's what watching a movie's all about.
Overall Rating: 80% (Decent)
I fear this will end up being too much like Slither, a film touted as being 'good fun' by critics, but somehow just won't make it far past the gate. This is a Horror film that will go under the radar, and I guess that's just the way it goes. I'm starting to believe that the Horror genre is to girls what Romantic Comedy is to guys. Am I wrong?