Writer: Neil Marshall (Screenplay)
Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nore-Jane Noone
Plot: A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Brilliant Horror
Story: The Descent starts as we meet adventurers Sarah (Macdonald), Juno (Mendoza) and Beth (Reid) who after their latest adventure suffer a heart-breaking tragedy when Sarah’s husband and child are killed in a car accident.
On year later Sarah and Beth travel to America for Juno’s next adventure, joined by Rebecca (Mulder), Sam (Buring) and Holly (Noone) to go caving. Once in the cave the friends have only one way out, going down but this adventure turns into a nightmare when the girls discover they are not alone in this cave as they must escape from the predators living deep within the cave.
The Descent is one of the most popular modern day horror films out there and it is this because of how simple it keeps the story. we have 6 adventurers who get trapped caving only to have to fight for their lives against creatures from within the cave. This is all we need to create the tension needed in the film but we do also get an interpersonal dynamic between Sarah, Juno and Beth which is also key to decisions being made within the cave. It would be hard to not say this flawless but it is all you need in horror without complicating things.
Shauna Macdonald: Sarah is our adventurer that suffers a tragedy losing her family in an accident. One year later still suffering the effects she re-joins her friends to go on their latest adventure caving in America to try and forget the tragedy even just for a day or two. Sarah must use all her pent up emotions to fight of the creatures with the cave. Shauna gives us a brilliant performance in this role throughout.
Natalie Mendoza: Juno is the most adventurous of all the girls always arranging the trips. She is in Scotland when Sarah’s family dies and has been involved with Sarah’s husband. Her latest adventure brings the friends back together to go caving but her choice is to explore an unmapped cave which puts everyone’s life at risk. Natalie is a great strong character throughout this film.
Alex Reid: Beth is the best friend of Sarah who has been by her side all the way through the personal tragedy, she joins Sarah and clearly knows what had been going on between Juno and Sarah’s husband. She is the voice of reason between the friends being the oldest of the group. Alex is great in this role being the typical best friend needed to our main character.
Saskia Mulder: Rebecca is one of the other friends joining the trip who comes off like just one of the other three really. Saskia does everything she needs to in this supporting role.
Support Cast: The Descent really has a small supporting cast with the other two cavers doing all they need to giving us a friendship we can believe between them all.
Director Review: Neil Marshall – Neil gives us one of the best modern day horror movies that keeps the concept simple but the scares terrifying.
Adventure: The Descent gives us an adventure that turns into a nightmare with our girls all enjoying the adventurer’s way of life.
Horror: The Descent starts by making the horror feel like a trapped with no escape which is enough for a horror film but it soon escalates this to the next level by adding the creatures deeper within the cave, the horror is filled with tension building and jump scares and good old fashion gore.
Thriller: The Descent keeps us on edge from the moment the girls enter the cave to the final scene with the tension and suspense built up within.
Settings: The Descent uses the settings perfectly with most of the film taking place within the cave itself. This creates the claustrophobic environment.
Special Effects: The Descent has great effects to when it comes to the kills with most being practical too.
Suggestion: The Descent is an absolute must watch for all the horror fans out there. (Horror Fans Must Watch)
Best Part: Tension building.
Worst Part: Not one
Scariest Scene: First full view on the creatures.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Yes
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $26 Million
Budget: $3,5 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
Tagline: Afraid of the dark? You will be.
Trivia: The appearance of the creatures was kept secret from the cast members until the first scene in which they encounter them was filmed. When the cast were finally filming the scene where the girls encounter the crawlers, the girls were genuinely scared and screamed the building down, running off set and laughing.
Overall: Simply one of the great modern horror films.