THE DESCENT (2006 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

The Descent beginning scenes introduce, independent, over-the-top, ‘I don’t make an apology for my life', ego-driven, masculine-oriented, testosterone-popping, young women who, by the end of the movie, are crying for help like the best of any dependent, ‘damsel in distress’, estrogen-loaded female ever depicted on big screen. This dramatic change in character makes the film wobble and creates instability for the viewing audience. It’s almost as if these six men-type women had sex change operations while spelunking. Less masculinity at the beginning of the film and less femininity at the end of the film will create realistic balance that contributes to understanding the basic character of the six protagonists. The film also troubles itself with a very late introduction of horror via alien-type creatures, surprisingly like the gollum in the Lord of the Rings series, that comes as a complete shock as, up to this point, one is led to believe this movie follows an ordinary caving story that works on the level of Sanctum, a superb spelunking movie.  This ill-timed twist in the storyline creates derailment, surprise, and strong need to reconcile the thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t a spelunking movie highlighting the thrills of caving.’ This not-for-children movie serves the late teen/adult audience and serves up its share of gore and language.

Storyline

Six girls enter a cave and find an unexpected surprise at the exit.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Neil Marshall for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Paul Smith for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), Juno (Natalie Mendoza), Beth (Alex Reid), Rebecca (Saskia Mulder), Sam (MyAnna Buring), Holly (Nora Jane Noone), Paul (Oliver Milburn), Jessica (Molly Kayll), Crawler (Craig Conway), Crawler (Leslie Simpson), Crawler (Mark Cronfield), Crawler (Steven Lamb), and Crawler (Catherine Dyson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The film fails in timing, performs on the amateur level in characterization, and borrows horror from a classic film so that audience anticipation experiences sharp let-down into the ‘we’ve seen that before’ mode. It’s a chick-flick horror film, not the best in its class.

Ben Meyers

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