A descent into hell
by Camillo De Marco
The Sun was correct in writing : "It is fantastic that the British teach Hollywood how to make true horror films". The Descent presented out of competition on the last day of the Venice Film Festival, is truly a modern horror cinema lesson for the USA, where the best filmmakers of all time are endlessly repeating themselves.
Neil Marshall terrorized Great-Britain in 2002 with Dog Soldiers, a film which immediately became a legend, becoming the British DVD best-seller and starting the British horror film revival.
With The Descent (released in Great Britain on July, 8th), Marshall wanted to use once again the humour of his last film and change the team this time into feminine characters. Dog Soldiers was about six servicemen, this one is about six women keen on extreme sports who decide to climb the Appalachian mountains, to reach a cave. Terror is overwhelms as they are attacked by horrible cannibals.
Produced by Christian Colson for Celador Productions, the film was shot with a total budget of 3,5 million pounds in London's Pinewood Studios and in Scotland. Sold by Pathé, it will be distributed in Italy by Timecode and in Spain by Vertigo.
Neil Marshall says he wanted to pay tribute to the horror films he grew up with: The Exorcist, Shining, The Omen. The film certainly packs a lot of scares, and Sam McCurdy's cinematography (the scenes have been almost entirely shot in pitch dark) is of a very high standard. The psychological element is not missing, it involves these women's friendship and reciprocal trust. The "monsters" are all wearing masks and the women must defend themselves against their aggressiion, lowering themselves to their levels. But the true "monster" could hide in one man, the main character's husband, who only appears for a few seconds at the beginning...
(Translated from Italian)
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