Descent, 2005 – Review

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Important Note: Do not watch the movie if you are not a horror/gore genre fan

I had heard and seen bits of Descent (2005) earlier and I was really intrigued. I was waiting to watch it again, properly this time and got the opportunity today. Descent is cave exploration gone horribly wrong but its more than that. Its about 6 friends and how humans in general react when there is danger and pandemonium – some of us become extremely selfish and just think of ourselves and some of us show the stronger side of our personality by supporting people we are with. The movie shows how bonds between friends are broken and how they are formed. It shows levels to which one can reach to survive.

Descent is a British movie mainly about 2 women – Sarah and Juno. Sarah goes through unimaginable trauma at the start of the movie and after a year goes to explore the beautiful Appalachian mountain range caves in North Carolina, USA. The movie’s locations and tone from the get go show a gloomy and brooding side and sucks you in. It isn’t long before the 6 go into the cave and get trapped as a part of the cave collapses. They realize that Juno and another friend got them to a cave that is not on the system and panic sets in. And while they are trying to figure out the way out, out come the creatures – the humanoids.

These nasty beings look like humans but are some kind of mutated beings who have adapted themselves to the pitch dark and the intertwined cave system. They feed on anything that moves – they are blind as a bat but have a keen sense of sound. The rest of the movie is about how the hunting begins and how the 6 women react to the brutal killings. This is when Sarah finds out about Juno cheating with her husband and is devastated and you see a different side of the kind, gentle person she is.

Descent is gory, violent, claustrophobic and almost unseeable as the lighting used is extremely low but that’s the beauty of it – its riveting and as a viewer you are looking at all corners of the screen to see where the attack might come from. The performances are great and the personalities come out really nicely. The movie doesn’t waste anytime in getting to the horror of what the 6 friends endure and is set at a good pace. The music is great too.

The only complaint I had was that it was nothing new. Maybe because I saw it this late, I was reminded of many such movies – The hills have eyes, Jeepers creepers and many such ones. I give it a B+.

I reviewed Descent 2 too – read it here.

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