As Above, So Below (2014)

as above so below poster 2014 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Story location has so much potential

Just becomes a running with a shaky camera type movie

Movie Info

Movie Name:  As Above, So Below

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 29, 2014

MPAA Rating:  R

as above so below paris ben feldman perdita weeks

Paris is so romantic…let’s roll around in the crap underneath it!

Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) inherited an obsession from her father before it drove him crazy.  Scarlett’s father was searching for the philosopher’s stone…a stone that could turn things to gold and give everlasting life to those who found it.  When Scarlett finds the Rose Key in Iran, Scarlett finds the key could be buried deep below the catacombs of Paris.  With a team including her former boyfriend George (Ben Feldman) and her cameraman Benji (Edwin Hodge), Scarlett is headed below the surface led by a man named Papillion (François Civil) and his friends…but the horror goes deeper.

Directed by John Erick Dowdle, As Above, So Below is a found-footage horror film.  The movie was released to negative reviews and relatively low box office return.

As Above, So Below sounds good in theory.  It is a horror film set in the claustrophobic underground world of catacombs.  It technically should be scary…unfortunately, the movie just doesn’t have the level of horror you’d expect and what horror it does have, it tries too hard to achieve.

as above so below burning car catacombs

I hate it when burning cars of my past show up

I will give As Above, So Below this…it does have some originality.  The film delves into basic horrors (like claustrophobia) and it also looks at human horror like the ideas of hell, eternal suffering, and coming to terms with your past.  The problem is that the movie is really unbalanced in this sense.  It can’t decide if it wants to be scary and rarely is when it tries.  The psychological horror works better in the film, and I do like (opposed to many found-footage films) that the ending isn’t really set.

The cast struggles because they are all very young and sometimes their inexperience shows.  Perdita Weeks character is supposed to be a driven Lara Croft type tomb raider but she doesn’t seem to have that edge.  Ben Feldman is very clean and perfect as her boyfriend and the other supporting characters kind of blend together especially when other people get cameras instead of just Edwin Hodge.  Part of it is the writing and part of it is the acting.

as above so below monster catacombs paris

I don’t know what this is but it is creepy…too bad they didn’t use it more

The visuals have such potential, but eventually fall into the found-footage trap.  When stuff starts happening, you can’t see anything due to shaky camera style shooting.  The film wasted a great opportunity in this because they were given permission to shoot in the actual catacombs which should be scary by itself…plus, I think storywise they should have pushed the Hell aspect.

As Above, So Below comes close to working but doesn’t quite make it over the hump.  It is largely forgettable besides its location and never finds its real footing.  Things like the ending sequences do a little to redeem it, but it is too little too, late.  The story had devolved into just a running around in the dark type of movie which has been done over and over again…it did not matter how deep they went.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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