Are you thinking of a job in the caving industry? THINK AGAIN! This film is a definite no go for all you thrill seekers and potential cavern explorers. However if, like myself, you're more than happy to watch some potholers make some questionable decisions, then this film is definitely for you.
The Descent is 100 minutes of tight spaces and dark shadows so if you're not already claustrophobic and scared of the dark then prepare to be after watching this. It starts with six female explorers, hallelujah for strong female characters, deciding to explore a frankly terrifying cavern of which no one could pay me enough to go into.
If you want to know more about the plot, you'll have to watch it as I refuse to give any warnings on what to expect. I was certainly not extended that courtesy and in a very unpredicted way, it actually enhanced my viewing experience.
My rating was definitely influenced by the story itself, but I also rate the direction of Neil Marshall to an extremely high standard. Most horror films have rather predictable directing techniques, dramatic close ups paired with high pitched screams and long shots down empty hallways, but Marshall throws all this straight out into the Oscar's reject bin and got truly inventive with his decisions.
With such limited space and lighting as this film provided to him, Marshall used it to his advantage so easily it seemed effortless. At one point a thermal camera was used, which for that particular scene, was a genius decision which easily built the tension of the film so high it felt as if your heart could've leapt straight out your chest.
His lighting ideas were also something to be admired - especially the use of flares. By using something actually found within a situation like this, it becomes so much more believable, and therefore terrifying, which is so hard to achieve in horror movies without it becoming tacky.
It forces you as the viewer to imagine yourself in the same situation as the actors - a feat unachieveable by even the most qualified film makers. The Descent from start to finish is a building crescendo, breaking tension through well timed jump scares and leaves you breathless at its finish. A must see for all horror fans.
The trailer below does show some rather large spoilers so watch at your own risk but I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves realistic horror movies and getting a thrill out of being scared.