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The Descent

The premise for this film, some hot chicks go spelunking and run into trouble, sounds stupid and, frankly, it is. But it's also the most genuinely terrifying movie I've seen in a good long while. I'm not ashamed to admit that at one point I screamed like a little girl. I will say that the "scary" element was enhanced by the fact that I went into it knowing literally nothing about the movie except that it involved a cave -- not event that it was a horror movie. But contingent atmospheric elements aside, I'm reasonably confident that it would hold up under any circumstances -- they just do a really good job of pacing the story and unnerving you from the get-go with a brilliantly executed opening scene. I'm certainly never going to go into a cave.

August 13, 2006 | Permalink


I'm claustrophic, so I was never going in the cave anyway.

Posted by: apantomimehorse | Aug 13, 2006 11:57:17 AM

I haven't seen The Descent but I did read that they changed the ending for the US market to make it less ambiguous/disturbing. Supposedly, this is the "real" ending, ripped from the Region 2 DVD. (Haven't watched it, either, but figured I'd pass it along.)

I saw Half Nelson today, which I would recommend. Very much not your usual "white teacher goes to an inner-city school and Learns About Himself" feel-good film.

Posted by: Becks | Aug 13, 2006 6:36:45 PM

Definitely the best horror movie I've seen in a while (and I see a lot of them).

The ending at the link was the one on the dvd I saw (in Europe), what was the 'american' ending?

Also, on re-thinking, I'm wondering how much the director wanted to leave open the possibility that the crawlers were a mass hallucination and they killed each other? The circumstances for some of the deaths was ambiguous and the director did say the title came from their 'descent into madness'. Creepy as hell either way.

Posted by: michael farris | Aug 14, 2006 4:54:18 AM

Want to be reallly frightened of caves? OK. 4 little words:

"aerosolization of bat urine"

It's a vector for rabies, a disease which is more or less endemic in a cave's bat population. Not to mention a genuinely resgusting thing under any circumstances. 20,000 to 40,000 bats clinging to the roof, snoring and whizzing away. Mmmmm. That's underground fun like Grandma used to make.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Aug 14, 2006 8:54:44 AM

I'm not ashamed to admit that at one point I screamed like a little girl.

Laugh out loud funny. I'm not proud of it, but on a couple occassion this has happened to me. Once a few years ago I was watching a scary movie with a couple friends (all of us grown men) and the three of us shreaked (and 'shreaked' is the word) at the same time. Funniest thing to happen to me in years.

Posted by: Don | Aug 14, 2006 1:28:22 PM

Did they steal their logo from Silence of the Lambs (i.e., the whole "Females Posing in Shape of a Skull" thing)? I wonder if they have to pay royalties for that. (Although upon further research it appears Silence of the Lambs took its logo from someone else's work anyway.)

Posted by: Aziz | Aug 14, 2006 4:55:04 PM

Oh man, I'm way to afraid of the trailers to even consider going to see this movie.

Posted by: Emma | Aug 14, 2006 5:50:41 PM

It's a vector for rabies

Bat piss could make you batshit crazy. Wow.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Aug 14, 2006 9:30:25 PM

If you've never been in a real cave, you're seriously missing a lot. Caves are awesome, and one discovers why man originally lived in them (they stay warm when it's freezing out!). Also, look really cool too.

Posted by: MDtoMN | Aug 18, 2006 11:51:26 PM

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