The Descent
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A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of caves by an unknown force that lurks in the shadows in The Descent, the second horror feature from Dog Soldiers writer/director Neil Marshall. After suffering a devastating car crash one year before, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is lured to the States with her friend Beth (Alex Reid) to a special spelunking trip by the fearless Juno (Natalie Mendoza), who abruptly fled from the U.K. after Sarah's accident. Along with two old friends and a new acquaintance of Juno's, the group… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Marshall could very well be the Caravaggio of the B-movie."
‑ Sarah Lilleyman, TIME Magazine
"For my money, [the] first 20 or so minutes are the best in the film. Once the real adventure gets underway in the cave, things get less interesting."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Here is a movie so precise and cautious with its material that every moment, every suggestion or action, becomes an experience that involves us to alarming lengths."
‑ David Keyes,
"Although Neil Marshall's attempt to justify the U.S. ending is admirable, the original ending is the only way out - providing a chilling bookend to a motif and suggesting what seems like cerulean-tinged peace is actually the solitary solace of madness."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"The ensuing carnage is ample but not gratuitous; every arterial spray and bone crack makes a point."
‑ Tom Meek, Boston Phoenix
"This intermittently effective UK horror thriller carefully establishes the psychological relationships among the women, then squanders this calibrated and generally plausible setup with a series of crude, implausible, and scattershot horror effects."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"While the movie has wonderful moments of unmotivated tension that make sure we're quite ill at ease from the beginning, it's also got a few too many of the kind of cheap boo-scares that indicate a director not fully trusting his grip on you."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Super-scary and vicious, both psychologically and physically, this cleverly produced chill-ride is edgy British horror at its very best."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"Director Marshall has obviously kept his DVD player spinning for days studying all of the classics and simply taking everything he needed like a Vanilla Ice "Under Pressure""
‑ Brian Holcomb, Kinetofilm
"It's nasty, unpleasant and sadistic but brutally efficient and undeniably effective."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"The Descent sustains a level of intensity that most horror films can barely muster for five minutes."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Tight shots of women desperately wriggling through worm holes or teetering on a ledge overlooking an abyss create a claustrophobic effect, one that leaves the characters gasping for air and the audience breathing shallower."
‑ Judy Chia Hui Hsu, Seattle Times
"Tense, gory and masterfully malevolent."
‑ , Total Film
"Blank screamers, fastidiously amplified "boos," and the most confused intimations of lesbianism since High Tension"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"[Writer-director Neil] Marshall makes real movies, not just schlockfests designed to sate the lusts of gore-lovers (although there is plenty of gore, too)."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique
More reviews for The Descent on Rotten Tomatoes

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