As Above As Below (2014) Horror Movie Review
Written By: ML
Edited By: Grave Review Staff
Director(s): John Erick Dowdle
Writers(s): Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle
Producer(s): Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Drew Dowdle, Patrick Aiello
Date Released: August 29, 2014
Perdita Weeks as Scarlett Marlowe
Ben Feldman as George
Edwin Hodge as Benji
François Civil as Papillon
Marion Lambert as Souxie
Ali Marhyar as Zed
Pablo Nicomedes as La Taupe
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story begins with Scarlett’s dangerous adventure in Iran where she aims to continue his late father’s quest for the famed Philosopher’s Stone. Upon arrival in Paris, her clues led her to the catacombs underground. She asked for help from Papillon’s group who knows a secret entrance to the restricted areas of the catacombs. The group of six found their way getting deeper into the claustrophobia-inducing tunnels while experiencing weird visions coming from their own personal nightmares. They found the stone and entered the gates of hell where they start to die one by one. Scarlett begins to uncover the truth while trying to survive the horror and finding a way to get out.
The scares are really good on this one. The mere fact that 95% of the movie is set in the creepy catacombs is enough to make viewers feel claustrophobic. There are several jump scares that will really catch the audiences off guard. One notable scene with guts and gore is when La Taupe grabs Souxie and repeatedly slams her head on the ground. Another one is when the weird cave creatures they encounter in hell attacked them and bit George like a bloodsucker.
The Grave Review
What makes this movie effective is the found footage format. It makes audiences feel like they are a part of the nightmare, a part of the group winding down the tunnels. Unlike other movies in similar format, this one alternates multiple action cameras. The different points of view from the characters give off a different vibe every time.
It’s also creative how they used the quest for the Philosopher’s Stone to pull off a Dante’s Inferno depiction of hell. The underlying references eventually point out to the characters having to overcome their own personal hell as they go deeper. Out of the six, only three of them survived having discovered the true nature of the stone. It’s about letting go of their guilt
Because the setting is very limited, you can seldom see the actors acting. They are either trailing in one line, the camera gets too shaky, or the scene becomes too dark for you to see what’s happening. Fortunately, the sound effects increased the tension. So even if you seldom see the faces, you can still feel the intensity rising.
Overall, this movie is one literal hell of a ride. It is all sorts of creepy, insanely weird, and plays tricks with your mind. Especially the ending when they escaped upside down.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives As above as Below (2014) four graves out of five graves.
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