Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Descent

I thought I would make a couple of comments on this movie/DVD since I slapped it up there on the sidebar in my 'In the Spotlight' section.

For those of you who don't know, this movie was made by Neil Marshall, the same director who put together another fabulous horror flick, Dog Soldiers. Originally, I had no interest in seeing it despite my absolute adoration of his werewolf vs. SAS soldiers free-for-all, partly because of the poster (which makes it look like every bit of torture porn out there) but mostly because of a mention on the IMDB that referred to Marshall as a member of the unofficial "Splat Pack", lumping him in with the likes of Alexandre Aja, Darren Lynn Bousman, Greg McLean, Eli Roth, James Wan, Leigh Whannell & Rob Zombie.

Not a group of writer/director/producer/actors that I have a lot of respect for.

Anyway, I'd changed my mind somewhat when I heard Joss Whedon give this movie some major kudos in an interview he did with The Word Balloon. He, like I, is sick to death of all these Hostel and Saw movies and was just about ready to stop watching contemporary horror movies altogether until the lights dimmed down and he went on this journey with this group of women.

I sat through the first hour of the movie absolutely engrossed in their dark descent into an unexplored cave where the physical dangers and hardships mirrored those going on within the group. Watching these women start to fray at the seams and deal with the loss of supplies, direction and ultimately hope had me to the point where, if a creature never bothered to grace the screen, I wouldn't have cared. I wanted to see what happens tho these guys, first and foremost.

Like any good horror, Marshall saves the actual creature reveal until very late in the game and from that point on it is a roller coaster ride to the end of the film's 100 minute running time. The big moment also got a hop off the chair from yours truly, something which almost never, ever happens to me while watching one of these movies. But there I was, my brother and I, jaws agape and sitting on the edge of our seats as all hell breaks loose.

I've since purchased the movie and started to delve into its array of bonus features. There are a couple of commentaries, some featurettes and a making of documentary which is both informative and fun. Marshall is an interesting to guy to listen to. If I ever get the chance to interview him myself one day, I'll consider myself lucky.

I have yet to listen to the commentaries, but if they're half as good as the one on Dog Soldiers then it's all good.

In a nutshell, I loved this movie like I haven't loved a show in a long while. I highly recommend it and would be interested to hear what you think about it. SOme of the comments I see on other sights are indicating that a lot of people aren't getting the ending or even understanding the idea behind the whole movie.

I'm going to go back and watch some X-Files now. I need to plough through Season 2 so I can get to some of the juicier parts of the series. The end of 2 and the beginning of 3 is where things really start to kick off, as any X-Phile will tell you.

Onwards and upwards!


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