There are vast catacombs below the streets of Paris, and a new horror film delves into what might lurk within those ancient, foreboding tunnels.
As Above, So Below is the film, and it's written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, with direction by John -- the same team that brought us the frightening Quarantine and the underrated Devil. This time, instead of trapping their cast in a sealed-off apartment building or a stalled elevator, they send them into the centuries-old labyrinth beneath the City of Light. Here's the official synopsis:
- Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
The first trailer has been unveiled for what the publicity materials call a "psychological thriller," which is a term commonly deployed when a studio is too embarrassed to use the word "horror." But make no mistake, this looks like straight-up supernatural terror -- there's a quick reference to the "gates of hell," demonic figures seem to come out of the walls, and it appears as if something down there makes people see some of their worst memories brought to life in front of them. Where I come from, that sounds like a horror movie.
I've visited the catacombs of Rome, and those were genuinely creepy, so it makes sense that the warrens beneath Paris could also be a perfect setting for a horror picture. Some 6 million people are reportedly buried down there, so it seems like a movie about exploring such a massive city of the dead would practically write itself.