my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   The Descent
Director:   Neil Marshall
Year:   2005
Genre:   Horror
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   07.22.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (2)
- Dog Soldiers
- Doomsday

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
07.22.06Rolling Roadshow Thanks to the Alamo I got to watch this in a cave. Even though they changed the ending (the filmmakers, not the Alamo) and the sound was pretty echo-y, it was still pretty cool... to see it in a cave.
12.11.05Alamo DowntownThis Screening is part of event: Butt-Numb-A-Thon 7
The Descent
Fake: Deliverance

I haven't seen that movie The Cave with Cole Hauser that came out earlier in the year but I imagine that it's a lot like this movie except for instead of Hauser and some roughneck macho types, this has six hot British chicks going down in the cave. The film played on DVD and Harry said he tried to get it on film but something went wrong along the way or something like that. In any case, this was the last movie to come together for him this year so we get stuck with watching it on DVD. It was shot on DV anyway so it doesn't really matter.

I really didn't expect this movie to be good at all. I was strongly reminded of Harry's all-night horrorthon that they did this past july and how bad the requisite indy horror movie they played then was. Plus this was a cave movie where they find a monster... blah... pretty typical stuff. But then they had some shots where the hot girls had to scuttle along like worms to get through these tiny crevices in the rock and it's completely obvious that it's just them and a dv camera down there in a real cave, not some set with polystyrene rocks. At this point it started working on me like Open Water did. A lot of people were flat-out bored by Open Water; my personal hunch on that is that it relies on your fear of the ocean. If i was a diver or surfer or something and had no problem with swimming in water that went for miles and miles under me and could be filled with who knows what and I'm just bobbing on the surface like fish food before some goldfish swims up to suck it in, then I probably would've been bored by Open Water too. With this though, the thought of voluntarily going down and walking through what's basically an accident in the earth in a place where there's absolutely no light or easy way out and any number of unkown factors anywhere in the Earth could trigger the tiny space you are momentarily inhabiting to cave in and erase you forever is not my idea of a good time. So there's a moment in the film where we find out that they are in an uncharted cave instead of some safe tourist trap and I completely bought in. I was invested.

After that, I was surprised again to see the dealing with the monsters, at least at first, to be genuinely scary. The first reveal really threw me and I jumped. I jumped several times and didn't feel dirty or manipulated afterward. It did get a bit excessive toward the end but I guess I am stuck with that. You can't have a movie that's all beginnings... it needs to go somewhere or you end up unfulfilled. It stayed surprisingly creepy though. A big surprise for me.

Another thing I noticed while watching this was how absorbed Harry was. I'm sure Harry got tons of shit for crying during Armageddon and I've always thought he likes way too many movies but in getting a chance to watch some movies pretty much right next to him I really got to see how he throws himself into every film. He was jerking and gasping all throughout this film, even yelling out "oh shit!" once. It's the same feeling as when I saw a buddy's girlfriend all curled up against his arm and hiding her eyes while watching Hollow Man. Hollow Man! Something about that childlike innocence and vulnerability toward a movie that drives a lot of what I think is really magic about the medium. A large part of me wishes I could become 6 again like that every time the lights go down and really be affected by almost every movie I watch instead of just every once in a while when something really special comes along. It surely would've made sitting through Hollow Man more enjoyable.

One last note about Harry. He left for like 10 minutes during pretty much every movie. I think it was to use the restroom in privacy and it took him a while with his wheelchair, but still. I wonder how he feels about missing so much of the movies... maybe that's why he watches them like 15 times each. I absolutely hated it every time I dozed during the last movie or every time I had to use the restroom or walk out to the lobby to give my ass-bruise a break, and with all of that I think I still only missed about 5 minutes of movie-time total.

After The Descent we had another break. I finally got to ask Tim if we could expect to see the Thunder Cops trailer since he'd been showing the highlights of last week's trailerthon all night. "I'd say chances are good. In about 2 hours." Sweet! After seeing it twice, the Thunder Cops trailer has pretty much become my favorite trailer of the year. It's got everything: kung-fu, chicks shooting guns at each other, zombies, mystical eastern magics, a chase sequence between a decapitated head and a fleet of remote-controlled helicopters... what more can you ask for!?

Each break really energized me. I think it made the night go faster and stay on schedule to not have a break after every movie but it really cut down on walking around and socializing with people. This was one of the few times a year where nearly a whole theater will know each other and it's cool to stand out in the lobby between films and talk them over. Oh well.

Into the breach once more as night became day and we entered the final stretch of films, harry introduced the next film as a bizarre movie from the fifties that he's not sure if the crowd will like or not. The lights go down and a production company logo comes up (VCI or something like that). Some people started out "uh oh!" then we see a cliff with a man standing right on the edge and enormous cheers break out in the theater. Here it was at last: Stunt Rock.
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