Spelunking should be a good basis for a horror story

Brace yourself.

Not for the film, but for a hastily-written review that has sat on my desktop for days without editing or really going anywhere.


 

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do you see something up there?

Back to the title…

Shouldn’t it? Aren’t caves exactly where something that horrifies us the most should live?

Isn’t a dark, tight cave basically the same thing as under the bed? And wouldn’t some unknown monster living there basically be the same thing as a boogeyman under the bed?

Descent should have been really damn good – at it was (for a time), but it certainly fell apart quickly by the end.

The cave, which I am watching a bit of right now, does not show signs of being good for any time at all. When I joined the show there was a party swimming in SCUBA gear having an extensive conversation, I was going to let it go – dismiss it as a little cheat, but they kept using it, again and again, at times while focusing the camera directly in the face of the divers with their breathing apparatus in their mouth – and talking.

Soon after, several characters huddled over a microscope where they observed what looked like some sort of flagellated protist. The come away from the scope and look into each other’s eyes and say together, “A parasite!”

Later, when the group finds a claw of some sort with hookworms slithering in it, the two look to one another again, “Do you see what I see?”

“It’s the same parasite.”

 

And then there’s this climbing sequence.

It’s ridiculous. The first thing (I was going to let go if it was an exception) was that one of the explorer people got the jump on a climb and ran out about 30 feet of line without belay (being tough is one thing, but taking an extraordinary risk without any hope of medical help – more crazy than tough). Later I see that her daring stems from an amazing ability to make great leaps while climbing vertically, horizontally, whatever it takes. Her lack of communication with her belayer goes on even after she is out of direct sight, which is something that isn’t just hard-nosed, but really makes it difficult to belay a climber at all. When she summits, she is confronted by the monster-thing that is hunting them and makes a leap from the cliff that looks like it should have left her unconscious at best, although, at least this represents an extraordinary circumstance. Once she recovers her wits, she realizes that the monster is still after her and she has to pendulum over to another rock face, to which she leaps (by cutting her line), falls about 50 feet, makes a grab for the wall – and sticks it!

By the way, there’s a really fun ‘splat’ calculator here that shows us that she would be traveling at a little less than 40mph (vertical).

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well. she almost made it

This film did not fail to frustrate me at every scene. Ultimately, this was a poor mix of ‘Alien’ and ‘The Descent’, with none of the tension of either. If anyone knows of a good spelunking film, I’d love to have your recommendation.

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