Friday, 16 October 2015

As Above, so below...a review

As above, so below is a 2014 found footage horror flick set in and amongst Paris' infamous catacombs that lie underneath the city.
A young archaeologist, obsessed with discovering the fabled 'Philosophers stone' and following in the footsteps of her late father, finds a clue that leads her to believe it lies in a tomb buried deep beneath the streets of Paris.
Knowing that access is strictly limited due to the dangers of collapse and / or getting lost down there, our heroine recruits a guide who claims to know his way through all the tunnels and soon sets off with a small team, including a camera man, in tow, but once they're down there, the group soon find themselves getting lost. Drawn further and further down into the catacombs, they soon begin going deeper than anyone has gone before as strange occurrences begin happening to them and they feel their very limits being tested.
I wanted to watch this because I recently saw a link to a documentary on Facebook that was very similar - some explorers down in the catacombs found some video footage of a guy who wandered off down there, got lost, and dropped his camera and could be seen just running off in fright after something spooked him down there. He was never found and the documentary makers were trying to follow his steps but were forced back when they began to run out of water and manholes they wanted to use as exits were discovered to be blocked.
In this film, the main emphasis is on playing on the fears of being trapped and stuck in a confined place in much the same way as The Descent did and to be fair, there are some very uncomfortable moments very early on.
Unfortunately, the film then attempts to be all things to all men and begins throwing in all manner of familiar horror movie tropes and scares that viewers will probably have seen a hundred times before.
Don't get me wrong, I liked this, but I did feel it lost its way a little bit towards the second haof and some things in the movie are never adequately explained.
The person who directed this also directed the awful {rec} remake, Quarrantine, but don't let that out you off. There are some genuine heart-pounding moments early on and this was one of the first films to make me feel uncomfortable in a long, long time - more to do with the whole fact of them being trapped underground than anything else. 
It has it's good points, and it has its bad...but overall, I thought this a better than average attempt to revitalise the found footage genre and it was at least as good as some of the stronger elements of the V/H/S series and every bit as nasty.

4* out of 5 

An above average scare best watched late at night with the lights out.

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