"The Descent" was filmed in 2005 by director and writer Neil Marshall in locations across England. Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza and Alex Reid portray three adventurous friends in this movie about caving and primal fear. The British production, released by Lions Gate Films in 2006, is also known as "El Descendo."
The movie genre is horror. As with many horror movies, "The Descent" depends on psychological drama and camera tricks to startle audiences. Moviegoers who startle easily or who do not appreciate monsters jumping out of the dark will not enjoy this movie. However, those who like the adrenaline rush that accompanies a jolt of excitement will find this movie pleasing.
Exploration Gone Wrong
A group of explorers follow the advice of a friend and begin to explore an underground cave. There is a cave deep in the ground leading to a crawlspace in the earth, called "the pipe." Once the women enter the cave and pull the ropes from the walls, the only way out is through the pipe. They begin their descent into the pipe only to encounter mishaps such as the collapse of the pipe. Once at the other end, a complete collapse traps three friends inside an inner cave.
Predators in the Dark
The women begin to hear strange noises. One woman believes the noises are human; another believes her friend is hallucinating. The women find out the truth quickly as they begin to defend themselves against humanlike cave monsters. The drama escalates when the women realize the batteries in their lights will eventually burn out.
The movie depends on human primal fear for dramatic effect. While in the pipe, one woman becomes stuck, shouting that she can't breathe. This scene depicts the common fear of losing control of a situation and not being able to move. Claustrophobia is also highlighted in this scene. Another primal fear used in the movie is the basic fear of the dark. There are creatures lurking in the shadows, and humans are intimidated by what they cannot see.
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