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Movie Review: The Descent

3 January 2007 One Comment

When I was younger I used to spend a lot of time on my grandmother’s farm. Every summer my cousins and I would screw around on the farm and get into a wide range of life-threatening but fun situations. When you live on a farm, you are invariably surrounded by stuff. Random stuff. Machinery, wheels, buckets, animals, wire, feed, and the occasional sharp metal spike. One summer we came across a large hard-plastic tube. It was about 18" in diameter and about 8′ long. It curved through about a 45 degree arc along its length.

So what do you do with a tube? Crawl through it of course.

So my cousins and I went through this tube a few times.  It was so tight that you had to stretch both arms above your head and squirm through. Now I can’t recall specifically but I believe at one point I got marginally stuck. To the point where my cousin had to grab my hands from over my head and pull me along a few inches.

I wasn’t stuck for long but for the few seconds in that tube I felt true, raw, visceral, explosive panic.

This weekend I watched the movie "The Descent" [LINK]. *** Read on, there are NO SPOILERS ***

Initially I was a bit put-off by the box and thought maybe I shouldn’t rent this movie. It looks a bit over-the-top violent. I was happily surprised and came out thinking this is one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while.

The movie plot is basically a group of friends (all women) go pot-holing and get more than they bargained for. Although the box depicts the main protagonist emerging from a pool of blood, the actual movie shows a lot more restraint with the red-stuff.

The first half of the movie sets the stage with some minor plot development and the group heading off into the hole. Invariably they run up against some nasties whilst in the hole. I won’t spoil it.

However, there is one scene in particular that brought me all the way back to the tube on the farm. The girls (for whatever reason) crawl through an impossibly long and narrow crawl space. One of the girls gets stuck and begins to panic. The very thought of this makes me cringe even now. Then things get rapidly worse. I think this is the best part of the entire movie.

If I have an achilles heel, I would say being stuck in a small tunnel is it. I’ve never been spelunking and I can categorically say I never will.

One Comment »

  • thede said:

    I saw the Uncut version that was released in the US the UK ending is therefore left untouched, and is BY FAR the best ending! happy endings are too damn obvious, especially when the person you EXPECT to escape actually does. (aka 70s and 80s horrors) Leave the ending untouched I say, MUCH better the US ending is terrible!

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