The Descent – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84% (Critics) 71% (Audience)
Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Neil Marshall
Starring: Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid
Studio: Lionsgate

Synopsis: Upon first glance the best description of The Descent is that it’s about a bunch of lesbians who go spelunking but it’s more than that. A lot more. It’s about a bunch of lesbians who go spelunking and then get attacked by mutant mole men!

The Descent starts off really strong with one of the better “Holy Shit!” moments in movie-dom. That scene gets your appetite whet for some serious bloody horror but before you are fed the film takes an odd detour. The Descent descends into a 35 minute Massengill commercial. We are introduced to the group of doomed women thrill seekers as they sit around a cabin drinking and talking about guys and their periods for what seems like an eternity. At one point I felt my penis starting to retract into my body in an uncontrollable urge to turn into a sympathy vagina due to all the womanly bonding that I was watching.

But then, much to my penis’ delight, The Descent took a turn into horror nirvana. Once the ladies came face to face with the flesh-eating inhabitants of the cave they made the mistake of exploring all hell broke loose and things didn’t slow down until the ending credits. There was nonstop flesh-eating, throat-slashing, ass-kicking goodness that had me on the edge of my seat. Particular kudos goes to the lovely Natalie Mendoza as the tough as nails Juno. She becomes the de facto leader of the endangered ladies and she whoops much mole man ass throughout the second half of this flick. She really does seem to be channeling Ripley from the Alien movies.

A slight gripe I had was with the ending for the US release which I thought was subpar compared to the original ending that was shown in the UK but that’s a small complaint that’s easily remedies depending on where and how one acquires their viewing materials.

Final Verdict: All in all The Descent is one of the better horror movies of recent years that, while spending a tad too long getting to know the characters, delivers some great scares and more than enough blood and violence to make up for any lags in the action. B+

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