Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary By Director And Cast;
Commentary By Director And Production Crew; Making Of Featurette;
Extended Scenes; Outtakes; Scene And Storyboard comparisons; Stills
Galleries; Cast And Crew Biographies; Theatrical Trailer.
IT'S been a long time since a horror film actually had me cowering
in my seat but Neil Marshall's The Descent did just that.
Three years on from his breakthrough hit, Dog
Soldiers, Marshall has sharpened his horror skills to deliver
one of the most terrifying chillers in recent memory - a bloody,
brutal and downright nerve-shredding experience.
The premise is fairly simple. An all-female group of rock climbers
go caving in America's Appalachian Mountains but find much more
than they bargained for.
Not only are they in the wrong cave, but they become lost and
trapped, forcing them to crawl through unchartered caverns in
the hope of finding an exit.
The only trouble is, they're not alone. The cave in question
is home to something beastly that has a lust for human flesh.
And to make matters worse, the women begin to turn on each other,
thereby placing their chances of survival in further jeopardy.
The Descent bears all the hallmarks of your typical horror-fest
- namely, women in peril and strange creatures hiding in the shadows.
It's also bound to draw comparisons with Marshall's own Dog Soldiers,
which placed a group of men in a remote woodland area at the mercy
of a tribe of werewolves.
Yet in spite of this, the film will
have you screaming out loud and squirming in all the right places.
It opens with a jolt before settling down to allow viewers the
time to get to know each character (including Natalie Mendoza's
arrogant team leader and Shauna Macdonald's mentally unstable
widow). Then the terror begins...
From the moment the women enter the cave viewers will be holding
their breath thanks to a mounting sense of claustrophobia that's
made all the more acute by the natural harshness of their underground
The climbing and crawling sequences are just as terrifying as
the horror itself (which is very gory) and Marshall has fun placing
his cast in all manner of tricky predicaments.
Yet when the time comes to unveil his demonic monsters, the director
does so with relish and their Gollum-style appearance and razor-sharp
teeth are certain to bring on a severe case of the jitters.
I found myself reluctantly curling up into a ball at one stage,
such is the unrelenting intensity of the final third of the movie.
All of which makes The Descent a film to savour not only for
seasoned horror buffs, but for anyone seeking some genuine thrills
It'll leave your nerves in tatters and gasping for breath right
up until the final credits. It's a bloody brilliant treat.
The Descent: Neil Marshall
The Descent: Shauna Macdonald
The Descent: Natalie Mendoza interview