Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Descent

As scary flicks go, they don't get much better than this. A huge hit when it was released in Britain last year, this movie is a horror-buff's absolute delight. Writer-director Neil Marshall has packed the movie with a series of adrenaline-pumping, gasp-inducing moments that make this movie one of the best in its genre in recent times.

The basic premise is simple: six adventurous girls, one unexplored cave and a helluva problem. What really works in the movie's favor is the dark, claustrophic atmosphere throughout. The subterranean setting is naturally spooky and Marshall just makes the most of it.

Sarah (Shauna McDonald) is involved in a tragic accident that leaves her extremely traumatized. To get her back to her lively self, risk-loving Juno (Natalie Mendoza) invites her and four other friends for a spelunking expedition in the Appalachian mountains. Very soon, things start going wrong and the women realize that the only way out is to go right through the cave.

Then begins the mix of claustrophobia, hallucination and fear that takes the movie beyond the mundane. The director seems to have a way with darkness; most of the scenes are lit with the eerie glow of a flare, or the creepy light from a glowstick or at times, just from the nightsight of a camcorder. He makes sure that the audience is right in the middle of the clammy air, the stuffy surroundings and as time progresses, engulfed in a fear of the unknown. There's no respite, no moment to breathe easy and the thrills just keep coming in all the time.

Thankfully, there is no pretense of character development or some hotch-potch story. This movie simply delivers what it promises - a truckload of spine-chilling scary moments.

Easily one of the most refreshing releases this summer, this one's worth the price of the ticket.
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The Descent (Rated R, pure horror)
Running Time : 99 minutes.
Written and directed by: Neil Marshall.
Cast : Shauna McDonald, Natalie Mendoza.
Official site

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