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Juno faces the Crawlers

B-List Delights: The Descent into horror

Actress Shauna Macdonald, who plays a woman named Sarah, finds herself lost in an unexplored cavern with her friends in The Descent (2005) with creatures who have adapted to live in the dark. Juno, played by Natalie Mendoza, hopes to explore an uncharted cave system, without letting the others know that important detail. After stumbling into a pit of bones, the predators, referred to as “Crawlers” begin to attack. The creatures have survived in the dark by enhanced sound and smell, losing their sight. The women have to fight for their lives against the Crawlers and find their way out before it’s too late.

The Descent seems to move slow at first, but rapidly picks up and leaves you hiding under a blanket. The cavers are properly introduced to the Crawlers by a night vision camera, which with an added jumpscare, easily left me terrified of the creatures. As they started to explore, I wondered if they were going to show what it was like to actually cave and have to crawl through tiny places. One scene of the movie made me feel claustrophobic, as Sarah tries to escape a narrow tunnel that collapses and closes the women into the unexplored cave. As they desperately try to find a way out, they come across a seemingly bottomless pit, having to use their hooks to scale over. The women began to cross the pit when they find an old, rusting hook that ultimately foreshadows their futures.

The movie holds the horror genre’s gore standard of the 2000s’, as certain scenes forced me to look away for their graphic actions.  British film, there are two versions to the movie, due to the idea that the United Kingdom’s ending was too dark for American viewers. The American cut of the movie is what was chosen for Netflix, but you can find the British ending on YouTube. There is also a sequel,The Descent: Part 2, taking place barely a few hours after the lone survivor finally makes it to safety. She is forced to go back down into the caves with the Sheriff and others, but her memory doesn’t return until it is too late. After watching it, I was left with even more questions than before and was hoping for a third movie, just to answer everything.

The Descent is a four out of five skulls, for the jumpscares it contained and the terror I felt watching them. The special effects makeup on the Crawlers, done by Robin Pritchard, was well-done, as was the music score written by David Julyan. The two added a different dynamic to the movie that kept my heart racing. After the slower part of the movie, the fast-paced action leaves you speechless and scared even after the credits roll.

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