Sunday, August 06, 2006

THE DESCENT

Before I go into the RWA report, I thought I'd be timely and post a little review about a movie I saw this weekend. It hasn't gotten a ton of publicity on the mainstream front, although the subject of how good this flick is definitely got around Comic-Con. You've heard me talk about the film before in my Comic-Con report: it's THE DESCENT. I'd mentioned that I really wanted to see it, especially after the Lionsgate panel showed us a scene.

Was it as scary as I was hoping?

Yes.

In fact, I came out of the theater all tensed up, and I realized that I'd been this way throughout the entire film. You could've struck me with a tiny hammer and a high C note would've sounded from my body.

Let me tell you why. The action follows a group of six bombshell women--extreme sports enthusiasts--who decide to go "cave diving." What they don't realize is that their fearless friend and leader has decided to take them to an uncharted cave, so when an accident cuts off their only known exit, things begin to go to hell in a handbasket. Really: things go from great, to bad, to worse, to very VERY bad. What follows is not just a movie--it's an experience. When you see the poster in the lobby and a reviewer is quoted as comparing this movie to ALIEN, that's not a joke. But I actually think that THE DESCENT is more of a combination of ALIEN and ALIENS, the sequel--two very different, but highly effective, movies. ALIEN (the first film) was an atmopheric nightmare, filled with an oppressed sense of doom and horror. It's truly one of the best scary movies ever. ALIENS (directed by James Cameron) was more of a blazing action/adventure trip through hell, and while it doesn't contain the same quiet terror as the first movie, I remember shrinking in my seat, so struck with dread that I watched half the movie through my fingers. What a ride. THE DESCENT takes the heavy, oh-my-god-what's-coming-next creepiness of the first film and mixes it with the balls-out action of the second. It's an experience you should absolutely partake of on a big screen.

You guys know how many scary movies I watch, so when one comes around that makes me literally jump out of my seat (more than once, too), you know I'm not recommending it lightly. THE DESCENT is gory--very, very gory indeed--so it's not for everyone. And if you don't like to be stressed out during a movie, don't go. In fact, there's one moment that even had me struggling to breathe in those caves; the film is that effective.

So have fun with it and sleep well afterward....

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