Writer: Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle (Screenplay)
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Cvili, Marion Lambert, Ali Marhyar, Cosme Castro
Plot: When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Good Found Footage
Story: As Above So Below starts by introducing us to Scarlett (Weeks) an explorer who heads into Iran illegally to record ancient ruins before they get destroyed while there she discovers something but only escapes with her life. Scarlett is trying to find the philosopher’s stone and along the way she is making a documentary with her cameraman Benji (Hodge). Her journey involved meeting up with an old friend George (Feldman) who helps translate a tablet. This leads the three to go into the Catacombs under the streets of Paris where they need to find a way into the off limits Catacombs.
The three team up with experts in the Catacombs Papillon (Civil), Souxie (Lambert) and Zed (Marhyar), who claim to know every corner of the Catacombs. The group have to find a way through to the area they are trying to locate and have to trust Papillon choice of a tight passage over a noxiously evil tunnel. After the tunnel they pick collapses behind them they find themselves down the tunnel they are trying to avoid, but this is only the beginning of the supernatural goings on inside the Catacombs. What is real or what is in their minds and who will make it out are all the questions we are left to ask.
As Above So Below is one of those found footage films that I didn’t go into expecting too much, as I have seen many and most have disappointed greatly. To my surprise this has a story that isn’t just built on urban legend and actually goes for a real scientific idea and manages to mix that with supernatural without just throwing stuff at the camera. We do have to deal with a shaky camera but for this film it actually works giving us the experience of being with the team in the claustrophobic environment. Another positive for this story is that it does leave you guessing what will happen next and never comes off predictable which is always a downfall for the found footage story. This story could have save my faith in horror this year and will easily end up being one of the better ones this year. (8/10)
Perdita Weeks: Scarlett our archaeologist who wants to go into the Catacombs to makes a discovery of a lifetime, she builds a team and breaks the rules to get to where she wants to be. Perdita does a good job in the leading role. (7/10)
Ben Feldman: George is the reluctant translator who ends up going with the group into the Catacombs against his better judgement, Ben does a good job as the voice of reason about going in. (7/10)
Edwin Hodge: Benji is our cameraman and the film is shot almost from his perspective which makes us that little bit more jumpy for anything that happens to him. Edwin does a good job and that one scene early on where he gets stuck is a fear of my own. (7/10)
Francois Civil: Papillon our leader of the urban Catacombs searchers who is meant to be showing the group the way but ends getting a bigger shock than the rest. Francois did a good job like the rest of the group. (7/10)
Support Cast: As Above So Below doesn’t have the biggest support cast in fact we only really meet two other character who go on the journey, they help with back story of what their characters experiences in the Catacombs have been like which helps understand what happens more.
Director Review: John Erick Dowdle – John does a great job directing turning what could have been a terrible found footage film into a good found footage film that lets us be part of the trip. (8/10)
Horror: As Above So Below is very much psychological horror where we have to question what is real but it also does manage to switch to a between that and real horror nearer the end. (9/10)
Mystery: As Above So Below really does keep you guessing on what will happen next and how they will get out creating a mystery story we are unsure of the outcome. (9/10)
Thriller: As Above So Below grabs you attention from the moment they first get caught in the Catacombs. (9/10)
Settings: As Above So Below uses the claustrophobic atmosphere from the moment they enter the Catacombs making this great for horror. (10/10)
Special Effects: As Above So Below doesn’t rely on its effects but when they are needed it does a good job. (8/10)
Suggestion: As Above So Below is one for the horror fans to watch and enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: The fast run back through works nicely.
Worst Part: Slightly slow getting going.
Kill Of The Film: The car.
Oh My God Moment: The end.
Scariest Scene: Run back through.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Tagline: The only way out is down
Trivia: This was the first ever production that secured permission from the French government to film in the catacombs. The film utilizes a set of narrow, winding tunnels of the Paris catacombs, complete with real mint skeletons creepily arranged centuries ago.
Overall: Claustrophobic Horror Found Footage Style
I actually have a review for this coming up in a couple weeks. I personally thought the exploration portion had too much luck involved, and was almost a bore. However, I did like the some of the “creep” factors that came along with this movie. It had an eerie feel to it at times.
I love AS ABOVE SO BELOW. Saw it twice while it was here in theatre. Just recently got the Blu ray. I thought it was a lot of fun, and used a different plot than most of the typical found footage out there. Always found the Catacombs terribly creepy as they were. Great review. Glad to see someone else enjoyed it as much as I did!
thanks, i was surprised because it wasn’t a film about being a found footage film and just when i thought it was going to lose me something shocked me and the scares are mad just simple fear of being in the Catacombs
I was really underwhelmed by this one. I found it extremely predictable, essentially every twist being terribly telegraphed. The location had a load of potential, but that’s where the awesomeness ended for me, unfortunately. Have you checked out Exists yet? Now that was an awesome found footage film!
I understand, this was a big improvement on ‘Catabombs’. i think i enjoyed it because i like the investigation story while most are after urban legends this was more of a treasure hunt. i still haven’t seen Exists, not sure if it is out in UK yet