Originally what I had planned was to recommend a different horror film every day in October. Unfortunately, I had a ton of work dropped in my lap so that has changed to “as often as I can”.
If you’ve been watching the show for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of horror. I’ll go so far as to call myself an expert in the genre. Very often these days I hear people complaining about how there hasn’t been any good quality horror in about the past decade or so. What I want to do is each day (when I can) recommend a different horror film that was made after 2000. Now, these aren’t just good horror films, these are the cream of the crop. These are movies that all horror fans and even non horror fans should check out. Every film I will be recommending is going to be, in my humble opinion, top shelf.
As for my regular episodes, I’m doing a theme month for October. That theme originally being “Damn nature, you scary!” which has evolved more into “What happens when humans mess with nature” or “Science gone wrong”. Take your pick.
So anyway, the first movie for this month is The Descent.
I managed to catch The Descent at an early screening months before it was to hit US theaters and it blew me away. Not much had been written about it so I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I did know was that it was directed by Neil Marshall who a few years before directed the awesome Dog Soldiers, so that was enough for me.
The movie is about a group of women who head to the Appalachians to go cave diving. While there a rock slide blocks their exit and they have to find another way out. That is the basics but really, it is so much more than that.
The movie floored me with how visceral and unique it was. Marshall showed he had some incredible chops behind the camera and the film was easily one of the best of 2005. Almost a year later the film was released quietly into theaters in the US. Even though I had already seen it, I headed to see it again to support real horror and not the watered down garbage we had been hit with at the time. Much to my dismay, the US theatrical cut changed the ending. I was furious. Here was a movie that was an absolutely perfect horror film and some idiot decided to alter the ending. (I later found out they changed the end so the studio could churn out DTV sequels…the first sequel stunk and they stopped the franchise there)
This was a movie that was never intended to be a franchise. This was one complete, spellbinding story. If you saw the theatrical ending and were disappointed,watch the full uncut version on DVD and see it as it was intended.
I just don’t understand studio decisions sometimes. Here was a movie that created a very positive buzz when it was first making the rounds but by the time the movie hit US theaters, it was almost an afterthought. So many great horror films either get dumped DTV or unceremoniously released into a few theaters. Meanwhile, terrible movies like The Fog remake have no problem releasing into thousands of theaters. Its frustrating.
This is horror that isn’t spoonfed to you. It is intelligent, well crafted, and will make you think. This is one of those films that you will want to see multiple times. Excellent in every way.
Agreed. This was a damn fine film. I believe I saw it on a DVD which had both endings. Much like how I was able to see both endings to 28 Days Later (which I assume will also be covered).
is also i video game but a doom clone
Only so far as Skyrim is a Doom clone. Descent was a pretty fantastic and somewhat original game. I had quite a bit of fun playing it, even if I often ended up flying upidedown by mistake.
I also ended up flying upside-down a lot of times 🙂 Great game, indeed!
Are we going to see a review of Spiders or Bats in the October horror reviews?
The problem with the horror genre is that the popular conventions that make it good have been done to death in moist films where they become totally predictable where in the 90’s and recently with The Cabin in the Woods they have been parodied in the story of horror films themselves like Scream and with the success of Blair Witch and the ease in with to make them on a short budget the documentary style horror films then with the success of Saw torture porn horror films.
I like the Saw films although some in the franchise are better than others, Cube Zero after one of the worst movie sequels Cube 2: Hypercube, Spiders, Bats, The Orphan, Jason X , Freddy vs Jason, Friday the 13th (2009), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Collector and The Mist
As I first (and the only time) saw the Beginning of Descent 2 I thought: “Wait A Minute! This is not what happened!” Here in Germany the movie was released with the original ending.
The first one is one of the best of itÂ´s kind, it blew me away, back in the theatre.
The second, however, is crab! It wants you to be afraid in the the dark, but isnÂ´t even dark.
The Descent 2 is one of those movies that doesn’t need to be. Talk about a studio that didn’t even come close to understanding the original movie.
please do a stephen king marahon
Completely agree. I just happened to watch ‘The Descent’ again a few weeks ago and it’s not just one of the best horror movies in recent years, it’s one of the best movies period in recent years. ‘The Descent’ should have been the first horror/splatter movie to be nominated for best picture. Don’t get me started on ‘The Fog’ remake. I love the original, probably my second favorite John Carpenter movie behind ‘The Thing’ (actually there’s quite a bit of homage to ‘The Thing’ in ‘The Descent’, especially in the music). What they did with the remake was just horrible.
The only thing I’ll give The Fog remake is that at least they tried to do some things differently. Unfortunately, everything different was mind bogglingly stupid.
The Descent is an incredible film.
Great theme for the month by the way. Every decade since movies were invented has great horror movies, or at the very least, interesting ones. With me so many newer movies (especially so called crowd pleasing blockbusters) are just incredibly…..meh. Forgettable characters, direction, music, just…meh. That makes the ones that do stand out even better. Here’s some recent one’s that stand out for me (no particular order):
Freddy vs. Jason
Shaun of the Dead
Land of the Dead (George Romero finally got a budget – it’s not all bad)
The Fourth Kind
(A lot of people really seem to hate these last 2. I thought they were at least very interesting.)
Thanks! I’ve been wanting to do something special for October for a while.
The Mist – awesome flick with one of the best endings ever
Dog Soldiers – amazing werewolf movie, great stuff
Freddy vs. Jason – classic
Dead Birds – saw this a few years back, liked it
Shaun of the Dead – one of the best horror comedies out there
Ghost Ship – great opening and a cool premise
Land of the Dead (George Romero finally got a budget â€“ itâ€™s not all bad) – a return to greatness for Romero. Loved it
Silent Hill – one of the best movies ever made, simply amazing
Slither – another great horror comedy, tons of gory fun
Cabin Fever – an awesome movie that is so much smarter than it gets credit for
Paranormal Activity – I caught a screening of this months before it hit theaters with the original ending. It is one of the scariest films ever and I loved it. The “Spielberg suggested” ending is crap.
White Noise – a cool idea that I was so-so on when I first saw it. I need to give it another go
The Fourth Kind – creepy as hell and well done documentary/FF style film
I saw White Noise at the theater when it first came out and didn’t really like it much. After re-watching a few times it’s kind of grown on me. There’s a lot of subtle things going on that are hard to catch on first viewing and I thought the emphasis on ‘real world’ white noise (fountains, falling water, rain, etc) was pretty interesting. It’s a well crafted movie.
Here’s two more (can’t believe I didn’t think of them before):
The Mothman Prophecies
(both of these movies have scenes where a character looks at a mirror and the reflection doesn’t quite follow the rules….coincidence??)
I need to give White Noise another view.
Mothman Prophecies was very slick, I liked that one a lot. I knew a girl who grew up there when all that stuff was going down. They even have a statue of the mothman in the town square.
Below is bad ass from the great David Twohy.
Nice call Cecil. They packed some real emotional punches into The Descent. Maybe because I’m an acrophobic, but the climbing out over nothing scenes really made my palms sweat more than anything else!
I was biting my nails the entire time!
One of the best ever. Not only are the monsters scary but the claustrophobic tension at the beginning of the movie is incredible. The sequel wasn’t that bad but, it was basically a rehash of the first movie and didn’t really move the story forward.
This was a scary story with so much passion and emotion behind it. It was a multilayered psychological film that flew over the studio heads.
My hometown is not far from Mammoth Cave so IIRC, I believe there was a bit of hometown hype for this film. (or it was another cave film released close to the same time that I’ve confused it with)
Of course this area of Appalachia has so many cave systems, we’re just waiting for those creatures to pop out at us. (then be gunned down by all the gun-tote’n rednecks)
Because we eat horror monsters for breakfast. XD
Sweet! Although I’m pretty sure they only filmed the exteriors there and all the cave stuff was done on set. (it was much safer and cost effective this way, plus with the right lighting no one could tell the difference)
There was The Cave which came out about the same time but that was filmed in Romania.
Lock and load you guys! You are the first, last, and only line of defense against the worst scum in the universe.
That’s why I’m dying for a Tucker & Dale vs even more evil film (love that flick, you were the one to recommend it IIRC – thanks btw).
Possibly, I did recommend it a while ago. Great flick, hope the sequel is as good. You are welcome!
Movies like The Descent are why I wade through 20 terrible movies to get to the gems. Sitting on the shelf The Descent looks like every other movie and looking at the titles that came after it you can see how much it influenced the industry.
I swear if I see one more being dragged backwards into the darkness bit I am going to lose it.
I just wrote about The Descent last night here: http://wp.me/p3F4M1-hg Definitely worth your time.
yeah that gag got old really fast.
So sad that other movies shamelessly ripped it off and became more popular than it did. Such is the industry.
I’ll give it a read!