Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge
Release Date: August 29, 2014
Get ready folks, we are just a little bit over two months away from Halloween which means Hollywood is going to begin their attempts at "scaring" movie-watchers around the world with, what they call, horror films. The first one for our viewing pleasure happens to be John Erick Dowdle's As Above, So Below. Dowdle is no stranger to the horror genre as his last three (four if you can find horror in The Dry Spell) films are all horrors or thrillers. Unfortunately, Dowdle's latest film will not be that above his other films and most likely below other horror/thrillers that will be released in the upcoming months.
Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
What selfies are to picture-taking, found-footage is to horror films and As Above, So Below
is yet another found footage horror film. Scarlett (Perdita Weeks
), leads her team on a journey in search for Flamel's Stone, the same stone that her father killed himself over looking for throughout his life. So there is a strong motive as to why Scarlett is on this expedition. Now as for the people on her team besides the cameraman, Benji (Edwin Hodge
) whose role is sensible to her expedition, makes absolutely no sense or they lack commonsense. First there is George (Ben Feldman
), a friend of Scarlett who ended up in a Turkish prison for a week in the past in search for Flamel's Stone. He made it clear as soon as he made his first appearance on screen that he wants nothing to do with Scarlett or her hunt but yet manipulates himself to enter the catacombs. As for the lack of commonsense, the other members of the team, 3 local pathfinders, ask or say the most illogical things. A stone ceiling starts to rift apart and one will ask, "Is that bad?" or after one gets injured by rockfall, "Are you hurt?" I mean there is no such thing as a stupid question, right? But there are such things as unnecessary questions.
The problem with As Above, So Below is that not once throughout the entire film was I at all frightened. But that I'm not upset about. Dowdle could have easily put a lot of cheesy one-time scares in the film with these six individuals exploring a cave filled with six million dead bodies with little knowledge of what is to appear when they make their next turn. There is only one thing I dislike more than a non-scary horror film and that is a horror film that relies nothing on one-time scares. Dowdle never intended to scare the viewers, as it seems he focused on scaring his characters more due to the fact that the objects placed throughout the film only scared one individual character at a time and it got to their psyche. The viewers never get that same level of fear that the characters felt.
As Above, So Below foreshadows beautifully to their viewers what to expect in the film, in one part of the film the explorers enter a cave that had a sign above it saying, "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Unfortunately for the viewers, that sign was not placed above the theater entrance. As Above, So Below might appeal to you if you do enjoy archaeologists' journeys but besides that this film is a total skip on all mediums.
Labels: 2014, As Above So Below, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, John Erick Dowdle, Movie Review, Perdita Weeks, skip it