As Above So Below

Released 8/29/14                              Rated: R

I enjoyed this film more so than my husband did. There are a few things I would have done differently, but overall I liked the movie. It’s more of a jump-scare than true horror film, which is a little disappointing considering we’re dealing with Hell here, but it was catered to our characters as opposed to a generic one.

There was an aspect to the plot that was not given away in the trailers, and I very much appreciate that. The trailer left the actual purpose of their trip into the catacombs very vague, so when they started getting into that I was like “This is really cool.” I also didn’t know the item they were searching for, or the person responsible for creating it, actually existed, so that got me excited. very beginning of the movie starts out in the middle of some action, and you have no idea what’s going on. I was a little worried the rest of the movie was going to be as intense with the shaky-cam as that scene, but it wasn’t. I mean, that scene was difficult to get through, but my eyes are bad, so it could have just been me. After that it backtracks into exposition so that you can understand what’s the dealio. In that regard it’s not your typical “found footage” film, but it still is. Actually more of the movie took place leading up to the catacombs than I thought, so that was a nice change of pace for one of these.

So, I know that the team we’re following was lured into the untraveled tunnel and then started seeing things, but they were seeing thing before they even got down there. The weird chick who turned out to be part of the cultist group. The random dude on the tour of the catacombs. Scarlett’s vision of the masked hanged man. The phone ringing in the catacombs on the other side of the enclosed wall. Were they being called into that passage before they even knew where to go?

The worst thing about this movie was that it turns your around. For instance, the scene where they come to the fork in the road. They have the untraveled tunnel to their right, and a bone-strewed crawlspace to their left. They take the passage to the left, Benji gets stuck, and then the tunnel collapses. They’re yelling that they went in a circle, but I didn’t see them move. I couldn’t tell how long the crawl space was, or whether Benji went forward or backward to get out of there. Later on in the caves they have to keep pressing forward, but everything looks similar to where they just came from. And then on top of that, Scarlett has to go back to a certain room because she figured something out– it’s just a lot of back and forth. It’s not terribly confusing or anything, but if you’re not paying attention you’ll get lost.

Overall this film is like National Treasure meets 1408 in a cave. (All though 1408 would have been a good reference in making this movie.) You’ll understand if you watch it. I enjoyed it. I felt like at times it was smart; that this wasn’t just some random movie. I would say check it out for yourself, but it’s not the best if you really want to be freaked out.

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