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The Descent

Posted by Player under Horror

The DescentOne of the best films released during the 2006 summer season is undoubtedly, The Descent. An engaging horror film that delivers strong characters against the backdrop of dark underground caverns and of course scary looking creatures. Writer/director Neil Marshall delivers another interesting horror film, but this time instead of commandos fighting werewolves like in his prior film, Dog Soldiers, this time Marshall features an all female cast. The Descent starts out with the story of Sarah who has just lost her husband and daughter in a terrible crash. One year after Sarah’s loss, she travels to the United States to go on a cave exploration trip with her friends. However Sarah is still not recovered from her tragedy and seems to have some emotional instability because of it. Once the women descend into the cave, they find themselves trapped and lost, but they manage to keep it together and try to figure a way out. But they are not alone, as Sarah suspects, and as the women come face to face with the cave’s creatures, they begin to learn more about themselves than they bargained for.

As a horror film, The Descent is not terribly frightening. Due to the strong characters and the film’s accurate depiction of cave exploration, it is incredibly suspenseful, and some might even call it less a horror film and more an action film. What is most fascinating is that this is really a female action film that works on multiple levels. Unlike recent action films that depict women as comic book action heroes, Sarah seems like your average woman in her early thirties. She’s smart, athletic, and a little emotionally unstable at times and the film is really about how she handles the crisis. Other than the monsters in the cave, the film is pretty believable and is perhaps one of the best portrayals of women in a horror film since Aliens.

4.5 out 5 stars