Overrated Movies: The Descent.

So I gave it another shot and tried to like it. I really did (tried, not liked it). And while Shea over at Unheralded will highly disagree with this entire post, I gotta say the second viewing didn’t help a whole lot (though it did a little).

One year after a horrible car accident kills her family, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) reunites with her risk-taking friends to go on a spelunking adventure in America. However, one wrong thing after another happens, all escalating to the point where they all get attacked by blind, cave-dwelling monsters (AKA Gollums) that want to do nothing but eat them.

I’ll start off with the good things about this movie, some of which I didn’t come to appreciate until this second viewing (I first saw it in theater when it first came out 3 years ago. I saw it for the second time just a while ago). First, the movie had some really great shots pre-cave (and even some really cool shots within the cave, as well). And once they were in the cave, the way the director played with light and darkness was amazing. Seriously, I did love how the only light ever shown while in the cave was light created by the characters (a similar technique was done in the opening scene of Saw 3, which I enjoyed). There was never any added light. If it didn’t come from the characters, it was pitch black in that spot.

Also, the movie did have some really tense scenes. The pre-Gollums scenes in the cave where it was just woman versus nature were great, specifically the horribly claustrophobic body-sized crawlspace scene. I felt the tension for that one in theater, and I felt it again on the second viewing. Though this time, I did appreciate the Gollums a bit more. They were creepy looking, and they weren’t overly reliant on CGI, which is rare these days.

But now for the bad. I think the biggest problem I have for the movie is the characters. Really, the only character’s name I ever remembered was Juno, but I just re-dubbed her as Asian Leader Bitch. In fact, I basically re-dubbed them all. Besides her, there was The Depressed Main Character, Young Immature Risk-Taker, Hot Yet Rarely Shown, The Other One, and Annoying Know-It-All Panicker With A Thick Upper Lip (I know… that one’s a bit long). There are six main girls (I’m relatively sure… they all kind of blend together), and only half of them really have any sort of personality… though, unfortunately, part of that personality is “annoying.” What I’m getting at is that I didn’t care for any them, which is bad for a horror movie. If you don’t care for the characters, then their deaths are meaningless to me (and most of them were).

Not to mention they were mostly idiots (which is depressing, considering two are major risk-takers and should know better; one is an English teacher, which is insulting to me; and one is about to be a doctor). After they find out that these things only know you’re there if you make a noise, at least one of them decides to make loud noises at all times, especially Annoying Know-It-All Panicker With A Thick Upper Lip. Seriously, if you’re walking around a corner to check if a vicious auditory hunter is on the other side, you do not jump and go “AH!” upon looking. And if a bunch are in the room with you, you do not scream “RUN!” as none of them should attack if they don’t hear you in the first place (I’m talking about you, here, Asian Leader Bitch). And speaking of badly written scripts, there was one bit of dialogue I thought worthy of mentioning that I had a bit of a chuckle at. One of the women is like "I'm telling you, I saw somebody! I could describe what I saw EXACTLY." And another asked her to, so she responded "It was a man!" Yeah... how exact and specific.

And this leads to another issue. Towards the very end of the movie, the Gollums start breaking their own rules. A lot of things can happen in a horror movie that breaks boundaries, but the bad guys should never break their own rules. The Gollums are supposed to be auditory predators, yet they make moves and attacks that should not be possible if all they can do is hear (over half the attacks would have involved them having to see their victims). It was ridiculous.

The gore was pretty good, and there were some gross-out moments (like the broken leg fix). But it did get over-the-top at one critical moment, which would be the blood pool. Even if these creatures killed and ate a bunch of people and/or animals in that cave, there would not be a pool of blood that massive right there… unless they specifically drain blood into a pit for later use, but I seriously doubt it.

So the movie did go up a couple notches for me from my first viewing due to some really cool shots and light/dark effects (among a few other things), but the negatives still far outweigh the positives. And there is a sequel coming out, though I figure it’ll follow in the footsteps of horror sequels past and be worse. I guess I’ll wait and see. I usually love movies produced by Lionsgate (especially horror), but I still don’t think this movie deserves all the praise it received.

Feed Me, Seymour!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.