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The Descent


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#1 Tom Bays

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:14 AM

Compared to Alien

I've become much more selective in my Horror viewing ventures (unless it's zombies and i'll watch anything) and was wondering if it was worth seeing. It certainly looks good by the trailers, but we have all been fooled before.

I also worry when I see critics liking scary movies. It usually means that it sucks.

Edited by Tom Bays, 09 August 2006 - 11:17 AM.

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#2 Jason Debus

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:18 AM

The poster with the Dali homage had me excited that it might get a little surreal, and it does a little, but it's mostly standard horror fare. The scares are typical jump in your seat stuff, and there was one shot where I actually screamed.

Liked the dark lighting too, they did a good job mixing color schemes in the cave itself.
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:31 AM

The descent is a pretty darn good horror film. As a caver I was particularly happy with the photography which was lit primarily with lights on the caver?s heads as opposed to the magically over lit style we have gotten used to since ?Journey to the Center of the Earth?. Neil Marshall sure has the golden touch when it comes to horror and the critics love him. The story is pretty much ?Deliverance? meets ?The Hills Have Eyes? in a cave with women. Where Neil is clever is he throws in a huge chunk of character development in the first act which seems to make the endless onslaught of terror more sophisticated.
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#4 Tom Bays

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 03:12 PM

You were dead on...it was a very good movie that deserves more discussion than Miami Vice IMO. Every shot was well thought out and like you said the lighting was motivated by circumstance not oh this looks cool.

Everyone should see this movie.

Let me add...I'm no easy scare and this movie actually made me jump a few times.

Edited by Tom Bays, 12 August 2006 - 03:14 PM.

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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 12:20 AM

It was a pretty good movie... All of us guides down at Bluespring Caverns (www.bluespringcaverns.com) went and saw it Friday (our bosses treat of course!)

Overall, I liked it much better than "The Cave", since it is much more realistic (I have been a caver for 5 years now... I should know...)

There was a couple of shots in there that made me flench... most notably the one where shes trying to push that one girls bone back into her leg.... :blink:

Anyway... Really good movie! Go see it.
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#6 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:27 AM

though i thought it was a pretty trite plot, and the pseudo-feminist angle was a little insulting, it was definitely the scariest movie i have seen in a long time... i was consciously deconstructing the lighting and editing all throughout and it still was making me jump and gasp. very well-crafted horror/suspense. and i thought the explanation/concept of the creatures was great... but it doesn't hold a candle to alien.

i saw it at a filmfest and by chance i was sitting next to a well-known, critically acclaimed actress. after a few minutes of the "chraracter developing" scene in the cabin in the first act, i could hear her making grumblings to her date and they walked out... i assume because of the dumbed down female characters' dialogue/interaction.
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#7 Raffinator

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 12:30 PM

I thought the first two-thirds of this film were really really effective -- great atmosphere, good character development for a horror flic, you could feel the tension mounting with each minute. But right after the "monster aspect" was introduced and revealed, the movie fell apart for me. The characters and plot became overly cartoonish and I lost interest -- it turned into a pretty low grade action movie with few surprises. There was no longer the fear and the great sense of dread that was present in the first two-thirds -- and quite frankly there wasn't much payoff at the end. I would have actually preferred that the film take the "disaster" route instead of delving into the supernatural -- I was much more uncomfortable watching the cave exploring, and the resultant claustrophobia, than the monsters.

On to the cinematography:

I liked the contrast between the cool, unsaturated look of the forest scenes (bleach bypass?) and the warm dark look of the caves lit by the headlamps and flares -- I thought this was a great choice. This is a dark film, as it should be. The oppressive shadows work on you -- you are constantly aware of the negative space around each character. Excellent use of motivation as well. I almost never questioned where light was coming from -- I could imagine a cave set 2 miles underground could be pretty difficult to light when all the head lamps are supposed to be off and you need to come up with a logical source.

Looked like Fuji stock and super 35? Anyone have a link on the cinematography?
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#8 John Holland

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 12:42 PM

Hi yes Fuji Reala , so daylight stock ,no correction , sure it wasnt bleached bypass, john .
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#9 Matt Pacini

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 06:31 PM

I liked it, and I'm not a big horror fan.
Keep in mind it was low budget, folks. It certainly didn't have the budget Alien had.

I kept thinking "holy crap, what speed film are they using?" because of all the scenes with nothing but the spelunkers cap lights for illumination, and it wasn't faked like you usually see. (well, mostly)

It must have been a bear to shoot in those tight spaces. I kept wondering what camera they were using in some of those tiny tunnels.

Anyone know how much of it was real, and how much was a set? Some places I could tell, but others I wasn't sure. Most of it definitely looked like a real cave, & I've been in a few.
In fact, got kinda lost in one once, and it wasn't a "tourist cave" either. Scary poop!
So I could really identify with the claustrophobic aspect of it.

MP
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#10 Bruce Clement

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:36 PM

It was a great horror experianse. A genuinely scary movie is hard to come by! I was scared before the creatures even showed up. The beginning was very suspenseful. I don't think people should be judging it based on the plot. It is a genre movie after all. It is a wonderful piece of craftsmenship.

I would love to hear any insight anyone has into how this movie was made. It all looked pretty real to me.
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#11 Dan Goulder

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 07:22 PM

I would love to hear any insight anyone has into how this movie was made. It all looked pretty real to me.

It was shot on Fuji (according to an earlier post it was the Reala 500 daylight stock) in super 35. I don't recall seeing a D.I. in the credits. If that's the case, then it must have been an optical transfer, and one with very low grain, at that.
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