31 Days of Horror: The Descent

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The Descent (2005)

Synopsis: Six women descend into an Appalachian cave in search of adventure, but instead find cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers. (But these inbred creatures are too scary for a silly acronym.) The friends find their will to live tested as they face the brutality of the creatures as well as a brutal truth behind two of their friendships.

Killer Scene: Trapped in complete darkness, the women resort to using the night vision feature on their video camera. We see what they see as the camera pans back and forth between them until finally an unexpected visitor appears on screen. You know it’s coming but you’ll still shitstain your couch.


Violence: Bloody car crash early on includes a head (or two) impaled with a steel rod. A fall ends with a bone-popping, skin-piercing fracture. Multiple scenes of stabbings, slashings, bloody geysers, and flesh eating.

Sex: The cast is almost entirely female, and there’s no lesbian shower scene? No nekkid frolicking in an underground spring? I know, seems like a waste, but the terror and suspense don’t leave much room for waxing erotic anyway.

Scares: The movie is loaded with jump scares like the one in the Killer Scene above, but it also maintains a pretty decent stretch of dread and suspense. Definitely one to watch with the lights out.

Final Word: Terrifying and relentless with a whopper of an original ending (the one with the birthday cake, not the truck.) Easily the 2nd scariest British film ever after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the scene where that Pied Piper-like dude pops his head in the window and steals Dick Van Dyke’s kids still haunts my dreams.)

Which ending do you prefer… the hardcore original in the cave, or the pussified US version in the truck?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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