The Descent (2005)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Creepy creatures combined with good story

High point near the beginning cuts down the fear near the end

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Descent

Studio: Celador Films

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): July 8, 2005

MPAA Rating: R



I would say the filter on this pool is clogged.

A year after the deaths of her husband and daughter in a car accident, Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) tries to regroup with her friends Juno (Natalie Mendoza), Beth (Alex Reid), Sam (MyAnna Buring), Rebecca (Saskia Mulder), and Juno’s new friend Jessica (Molly Kayll) by going spelunking in Appalachia.  After a cave in, the group learns Juno never registered their cave and the only way out is to try to go deeper.  The women begin to realize that they aren’t alone and they don’t know if what they are trapped with is even human.


Well you came into our home…just reminding you that!

Directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers), The Descent was released to positive reviews.  The movie has gained a cult following since its release and is often listed as one of the modern classic horror films.

The Descent does a great job establishing a claustrophobic atmosphere.  The claustrophobia is necessary because like many movies where the people are trapped, the problem becomes the tension between the group which has been heightened by Sarah’s suspicions that Juno had an affair with her husband before his death.  It also works well in that Sarah is forced to work with Juno to try to escape but finds herself not trusting her as well.

The bat-like creatures of The Descent are masked for a while (creepy appearances through the group’s nightvision camera help build the excitement to see them).  Once the creatures are exposed, it becomes an all out bloodbath and the “descent” becomes more and more mental than physical.


So which one of you ladies is coming home with me tonight?

With all the scary creatures, pools of blood, tension, it says something that the scariest moment in the movie is the cave in at the beginning.  The character becomes wedged in a tunnel, can’t move forward or backward, and the tunnel begins to collapse.  This is the most tense moment in the movie and scarier than a lot of horror movies…Having this moment early does take away from the rest of the movie a bit.  It is like riding the biggest rollercoaster in a park then riding the small ones after it.

The Descent is a good horror movie because it is well thought out.  It also is good in that you’re allegiance with characters switches throughout the movie.  Sometimes you are with Sarah, sometimes you are with Juno.  There are two different endings to the movie.  The American movie ends somewhat positive (but not entirely) but the British ending is a much more realistic ending.  Unfortunately they chose to make a nonsensical sequel to the movie which is one of the worst movies I’ve seen.

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Related Links:

The Descent:  Part 2 (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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