söndag 26 april 2020

15 Years Anniversary Review Of The Descent

Going back in time can actually be funny sometimes. You bring out some memories that meant something personal to you, a certain year. And as i started thinking about the year of 2005, i did remember some moments that made 2005 memorable. This was the tragic year of the London bombings, where 50 people died and over 200 people were injured. On a more positive note, this year did have some good music. Let´s begin with the music album, or should i say EP album The Unquestionable Truth Part 1, released by American metal band Limp Bizkit. This was the return of fantastic guitarist Wes Borland, and Limp Bizkit returned with a much heavier metal sound that the previous album Results May Vary. The Unquestionable Truth Part 1 turned out to be their best work for years, with some really heavy guitar riffs. If you have not heard this EP album, you should check it out. This was also the year when British rock/pop band Doves released their best studio album ( in my opinion ) known as Some Cities. Some of the songs of this album are really powerful, and a perfect example of that is especially the single Snowden. I also love the dark undertone that a song such as The Storm delivers, with a sad but powerful message. This year had some really good films as well, and i could probably mention at least 5 films that you should see. But there is especially one film that made 2005 special, when it comes to horror films. And that was the British horror film known as The Descent. I remember this film for a number of reasons. First was the make up effects, that were surprisingly good. And the story of a group of women fighting against strange creatures, who are living inside a cave system, turned out to be very effective as well. Since this film is turning 15 years this year, and i have not seen this film since this film came out, i decided to pick up a 2 Disc DVD release of The Descent ( i still do buy DVD sometimes, it is nostalgic ). Has this film aged better than i expected, or has The Descent lost some of the power that you felt 15 years ago ?

A group of friends, Juno Kaplan ( Natalie Mendoza ), Elisabeth " Beth " O´Brien ( Alex Reid ) and Sarah Carter ( Shauna Macdonald ) have just finished whitewater rafting, and are preparing to drive to their hotel. Sarah go with her husband Paul Carter ( Oliver Milburn ) and their daughter Jessica Carter ( Molly Kayll ), but on the way to the hotel they end up in a very serious car accident. Sarah is the only survivor, and her life will never be the same again. One year later, Sarah, Juno and Beth, with some more female friends, decide to go to a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina for a spelunking adventure. The next day, they hike up to a cave and descend. The idea is that this will be a good way for Sarah to focus on something positive, and for the whole team to help each other reach their goal. But inside the cave system, they are forced to make some changes. When one of the ways out collapses, they need to find another way out. As they go further inside the cave system, they are about to find out that they are not alone.

I am happy to say that The Descent is still a very effective horror film, for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that this film manage to balance monster horror influences with a claustrophopic atmosphere. When you see these caves, and how many tunnels there are, you can feel the fear that these women are experiencing. But we have to talk about the biggest highlight of this film, and that is the creatures known as " crawlers ". If you loved watching monster films of the 70´s and the 80´s, then you are going to feel right at home with The Descent. These creatures are blind, and look like a mixture of human shaped beasts and Gollum from Lord Of The Rings. When they move around the cave walls, you can feel the fear in the air. Special make-up & effects designer Paul Hyett have done a wonderful job on creating these crawlers. They don´t only look creepy, they fit perfect into the cave system. I love the fact that this film has a very good female cast. Actress Shauna Macdonald as the main character Sarah, is a really strong character. It is hard to imagine the suffering she must be feeling, loosing both her husband and daughter in a car accident, and then she has to face these creatures as well. Shauna delivers a performance that match so well with her character. One of my favourite characters in this film is without a doubt Holly, played by actress Nora-Jane Noone. She is loud, confident and the wild one in this group. The rest of the female cast does a wonderful job as well. The Descent is one of the few horror films that actually have found a way to tell a very effective story, combining the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped inside a cave. Director Neil Marshall ( who directed the classic werewolf film Dog Soldiers ) knows how build up tensions of fear, and how we might react in very complicated situations. The Descent is without a doubt one of the best horror films from 2005, and will continue the legacy to capture new audiences worldwide for many generations ahead. A must have on DVD or Blu Ray, if you are a true horror fan such as myself.

Rating: DDDD

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