Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 6: The Descent (2005)

A Month of Horror

I have always wanted to do a marathon of "HORROR" throughout the month of October, one where I would revisit a new horror movie every day from the first to the thirty-first.  I will revisit the classics as well as new entries into the canon.  There are many movies that define this time of year, and I hope to showcase 31 of them this month...

October 6: The Descent (2005)

It all starts with a cabin in the woods.  The setting of the scene is familiar: a group of women head out into the wilderness for a weekend away, only to have things go horribly, horribly wrong.  The big difference with Neil Marshall's 2005 film "The Descent" is that the entire group is made up of adrenaline junkie women who have planned the escape in order to do some old-fashioned spelunking.

The underground setting that makes up the bilk of "The Descent"'s running time is a big part of the terror that the movie is able to so effortlessly convey.  Everything is filmed in a very tight and claustrophobic manner and it is very easy to forget that you are not in fact there, deep underground, with those women.

"The Descent" is an extremely claustrophobic movie.  I remember watching it with a few friends when it first came out, and we all marvelled at the intense build up of dread that was maintained throughout the film.

It isn't just the peril of natural dangers like cave-ins or becoming lost either.  The women soon discover (as tends to happen in movies such as this) that they are not the only ones wandering the unmapped network of caverns.

There is a palpable sense of dread that builds throughout this movie, one that literally inches you ever closer to the edge of whatever seat you happen to be watching from.  The story itself is fairly simple, but Marshall's execution manages to elevate beyond the typical genre trappings of the stalker and the stalked type of horror we all know.

If you have not yet seen this movie, do yourself a favor.  There is a sequel out now, but I have yet to see it.  One day for sure, but for now, I am content knowing that "The Descent" remains a perfect trip into hell.

Tomorrow, I am going back to the '80s to grease myself up for some boardwalk saxophone action in one of my all-time favorites.

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