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"THE DESCENT"
(2006) (Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme *Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Extreme Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate *None Heavy Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: After becoming trapped in an uncharted cave system, a group of women must contend with a number of carnivorous humanoid beings that want to kill and eat them.
PLOT:
Sarah (SHAUNA MACDONALD), Beth (ALEX REID), and Juno (NATALIE MENDOZA) are good friends and sports enthusiasts who enjoy the outdoors. After one such white water rafting expedition, however, tragedy strikes when Sarah's husband and child are killed in an auto accident.

A year later, Beth has stuck by Sarah through the bad times, while Juno has all but disappeared from the scene. However, she has arranged for another outing with them along with several other women. They include aspiring doctor Sam (MYANNA BURING), professional climber Rebecca (SASKIA MULDER) and Juno's unofficial protégé, base jumper Holly (NORA-JANE NOONE).

Arriving at an Appalachian cabin, the group bonds and then sets out for a bit of cave exploration, with Beth and Juno hoping the spelunking might help Sarah out of her grief-based funk. The six women then enter the cave and travel deep inside it, only to have their exit cut off by a sudden tunnel collapse. Things seem bad when Juno admits she's taken them to an uncharted cave with no maps and no one on the outside knowing where they've gone.

However, the situation gets worse when the women discover they're not alone as they quickly come across some sort of cave-dwelling, humanoid type creatures that live and feed down there. Blind but featuring highly tuned ears and the ability to scamper across cave walls and ceilings, the creatures see the intruders as food.

From that point on, the women must do what they can to survive the repeated attacks, all while trying to find a way out of the claustrophobic cave system.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into monster-based horror films, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence/gore and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SHAUNA MACDONALD plays a young widow who's still dealing with the accidental death of her husband and child. She then finds herself caught in another nightmarish situation when she's trapped along with the others in the cave system and must battle the humanoid creatures to survive. She uses strong profanity.
  • NATALIE MENDOZA plays one of her friends who's ended up wronging her in several ways, but must focus on trying to get out of the cave alive. She uses strong profanity and likewise fights off and kills some of the creatures.
  • ALEX REID plays Sarah's true friend who hopes that their caving expedition might help get her out of her grief-based funk.
  • NORA-JANE NOONE plays Juno's protégé of sorts who smokes some pot and likewise must contend with their unexpected predicament.
  • SASKIA MULDER and MYANNA BURING play other women who must do the same, with the former sharing a joint with Juno.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this horror film that's been rated R. Profanity includes at least 43 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, while the bare breasts and bare butt of two of the humanoid type creatures are briefly seen.

    Violence consists of the humanoid cave dweller monsters attacking, killing, and eating some of the humans, while some of the latter fight back and kill the creatures by various means. All of that has extremely bloody/gory results, and those scenes, various moments of peril, many jump scenes, and the claustrophobic nature of the film's setting may be unsettling, suspenseful, or downright scary to some viewers.

    Some bad attitudes are present, including a woman not being a good friend to another woman (including talk that she had an affair with her husband). Other tense family material includes an introductory accident scene where a woman loses her husband and child. Some characters drink, while two briefly smoke pot.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a bit of bouncy camera work during some aerial shots, while all of the quick edits, etc. in the caves might create that result in some sensitive viewers.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • While driving along, Beth states that the only thing radio stations are playing are songs about mud, blood and beer, or "Sweet Jesus" adding that they need to "turn that sh*te off."
  • Beth jokingly states that she and Sarah can "get wasted and go to a barn dance."
  • Holly smokes a joint. Later, she and Sam share one.
  • When one woman asks the others who wants a drink, they all raise their hands. We then see most if not all of them drinking beer, and then more later. The next morning, some of them have hangovers.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sarah's car drifts over into the opposing lane and crashes headfirst into another car, resulting in two poles from it penetrating Sarah's windshield. We see one pole erupt from the back of a front seat headrest, with bloody results. We don't see the bodies, but Sarah's husband and daughter are killed in this.
  • After a bad car accident, Sarah awakens in a hospital bed with various dried, bloody cuts, scrapes and bruises on her face.
  • We see a dead elk (or similar animal) in the woods, and it has maggots and blood on its head.
  • A woman's palms are bloody through her gloves after a rope line zipped through her hands.
  • In the foreground of a shot, we see a cave dweller with goo or spit leaking down from its mouth (Sarah is near this creature, but doesn't see it).
  • Holly doesn't follow the rules and goes ahead, ending up falling down a hole and hitting the wall hard on the way down, but she lives. However, when we next see her, a bone is protruding from her pants leg, and when that's cut away, we see a very bad leg wound (bloody and open with the bone sticking out). To put on a splint, one woman must first push the bone back into the leg (with additional bloody results as well as screaming on Holly's part and the sound of the bone cracking, etc.).
  • A creature suddenly attacks one of the women, biting her on the neck (with very bloody results). Another woman tries to save the first and struggles with the creature, with them pulling the wounded woman's body back and forth. The second slams a pickax or something similar into that creature, but then another shows up and she must battle it, also striking it several times (with bloody results, killing it).
  • Having just battled and killed a creature, a woman hears a sound behind her, quickly spins with her pickax and accidentally drives it through the neck of one of her comrades, badly wounding her (with very bloody results).
  • Via her video camera's infrared feature, a woman sees more skeletons in the cave, when a fresh human body (someone in her party) suddenly drops down into the pile and many of the creatures descend and feed upon the body, tearing out the flesh, etc. in a very bloody and gory fashion. The woman watching is right there and must keep quiet, but nearly vomits.
  • Juno is bloody from her encounters with the creatures.
  • Sarah pulls out a bloody knife from some carnage.
  • A previously injured woman is discovered and she's severely wounded, with lots of blood on her and coming out of her mouth.
  • Trying to get away from a creature, Sarah falls into a pit of bloody, mushy muck and stays under for a quite a bit. When she surfaces, she's covered with that muck.
  • Sarah strikes a large cave dweller with a makeshift club, hitting it several times, killing it (with bloody/gory results).
  • One woman tries to get away by using ropes and hooks to travel across a "ceiling," but a creature attacks her there, slicing her throat (she manages to kill it as well, but she dies and blood pours from her neck as she hangs backwards).
  • A woman is grabbed, partially yanked back down a passageway, and eaten alive (we see the creature ravenously tearing away at her abdomen -- with bloody/gory results).
  • Juno falls into a crevice, lands in a body of water, comes face to face with a creature, and stabs it there, with bloody results in the water.
  • Cave dweller creatures surround Sarah and Juno who then battle the creatures that jump on and attempt to bite them. The women hit and bash the creatures, with one smashing a head to a rock, another delivering a crotch kick, a pickax going into a head, and Sarah gouging out the sightless eyes of another creature. All of that has very bloody/gory results, but it's quickly edited so any such views are fleeting before being replaced by the next quick view, etc.
  • Sarah has a very bloody face following her ordeal and she then vomits out the window.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We hear that Juno bailed on Sarah during her grieving period, unlike Beth who stuck around.
  • While driving along, Beth states that the only thing radio stations are playing are songs about mud, blood and beer, or "Sweet Jesus" adding that they need to "turn that sh*te off."
  • The group learns that Juno brought them to an unexplored cave and one in which they hadn't registered with the authorities should something bad happen and they need help.
  • Spoiler Alert: Sarah learns (through another character) that Juno had an affair with Sarah's husband.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Sarah, Juno, and Beth do some white water rafting and go through some seemingly perilous rapids, but are okay.
  • Sarah's car drifts over into the opposing lane and crashes headfirst into another car, resulting in two poles from it penetrating Sarah's windshield. We see one pole erupt from the back of a front seat headrest, with bloody results. We don't see the bodies, but Sarah's husband and daughter are killed in this.
  • After a bad car accident, Sarah awakens in a hospital bed with various dried, bloody cuts, scrapes and bruises on her face. She removes the monitoring equipment, etc. and stumbles out into the empty hallway in the apparently empty hospital. The lights start going off in succession toward her in that hallway, prompting her to run in the opposite direction, hoping to outrun them (but this turns out to be just a nightmare).
  • The sight of the cave dweller humanoids (blind eyes, pale skin, sharp teeth, etc.) may be unsettling or scary to some viewers.
  • We see what look like fingernail scrapes in rock inside the cave.
  • Those who are claustrophobic likely won't like the tight passages and spaces inside the cave.
  • Sarah thinks she hears a child's laughter inside the cave (and we think it might be the ghost of her dead child).
  • While crawling through a very tight passage, Sarah gets stuck, panics and has to be rescued by another woman. During this, they hear a rumble and then more. With a collapse imminent, they race to get out of the way and do so just in time as that passage collapses, blocking off their return path.
  • Now trapped, the group tries to find a way out, but their passage leads to a deep and wide crevice they must cross. To do so, Rebecca climbs across the "ceiling," placing one line after another into the rock and stringing a line along it. With that attached on both sides, the women cross that line above the crevice, with Juno being last and climbing along that "ceiling" to collective their gear. It's difficult, and she dangles from some of it. She ends up falling, and the line catches her, but she then falls again and slams into the crevice wall, but is otherwise okay as the others pulls her up. The one holding her line, however, has bloody palms through her gloves from the friction.
  • In the foreground of a shot, we see a cave dweller with goo or spit leaking down from its mouth (Sarah is near this creature, but doesn't see it).
  • Holly doesn't follow the rules and goes ahead, ending up falling down a hole and hitting the wall hard on the way down, but she lives. However, when we next see her, a bone is protruding from her pants leg, and when that's cut away, we see a very bad leg wound (bloody and open with the bone sticking out). To put on a splint, one woman must first push the bone back into the leg (with additional bloody results as well as screaming on Holly's part and the sound of the bone cracking, etc.).
  • Sarah hears what sounds like a child laughing down in the cave.
  • We hear the guttural clicking sounds of one of the creatures, with Sarah then seeing the sight of one off in the distance of the cave.
  • Some of the group ends up crawling into a large pile of bones (the apparent feeding "room" of the creatures).
  • One of the cave dweller creatures is suddenly behind some of the women, one traverses the "ceiling" and the women then hear the sound of these creatures surrounding them.
  • A creature suddenly attacks one of the women, biting her on the neck (with very bloody results). Another woman tries to save the first and struggles with the creature, with them pulling the wounded woman's body back and forth. The second slams a pickax or something similar into that creature, but then another shows up and she must battle it, also striking it several times (with bloody results, killing it).
  • Having just battled and killed a creature, a woman hears a sound behind her, quickly spins with her pickax and accidentally drives it through the neck of one of her comrades, badly wounding her (with very bloody results).
  • Having been knocked out, Sarah has a nightmare where her daughter suddenly transforms into one of the creatures.
  • A creature is above some of the women in the cave.
  • Via her video camera's infrared feature, a woman sees more skeletons in the cave, when a fresh human body (someone in her party) suddenly drops down into the pile and many of the creatures descend and feed upon the body, tearing out the flesh, etc. in a very bloody and gory fashion. The woman watching is right there and must keep quiet, but nearly vomits, thus making a noise that draws the attention of one such menacing creature that comes right up into her face (seen in close-up, and it stays there for a moment, but since it's blind it can't see her and then goes back to the feeding).
  • Two women lie motionless as a creature crawls right past them, but the alarm on one's watch goes off, thus drawing the creature's attention. The woman races to get the watch off, tossing it aside just as the creature gets back to them.
  • A creature suddenly pops down from above, attacking one woman, but Juno kills it with her pickax and a snap of its neck, followed by one woman then kicking the dead creature (we don't see the impact).
  • A previously injured woman is discovered and she's severely wounded, with lots of blood on her and coming out of her mouth. Knowing she won't make it but not wanting to be eaten alive, she begs another woman for a mercy killing. The other is reluctant, but then picks up a large rock and slams it down onto the mortally wounded woman's head (we see the motion -- from a distance -- and hear the sound, but don't see the actual impact).
  • A creature jumps on and attacks Sarah who bashes it up against the low ceiling and then proceeds to kill it (we don't see the impact of that latter act).
  • Trying to get away from a creature, Sarah falls into a pit of bloody, mushy muck and stays under for a quite a bit. When she surfaces, she's covered with that muck, but the creature is there in the liquid with her, yanking her back down into it. Sarah partially manages to crawl out, reach for an animal horn, and drive that into the creature, killing it.
  • Sarah lies still as a large cave dweller crawls right up over her, briefly putting part of its weight on her, before moving off.
  • One woman tries to get away by using ropes and hooks to travel across a "ceiling," but a creature attacks her there, slicing her throat (she manages to kill it as well, but she dies and blood pours from her neck as she hangs backwards).
  • A woman is grabbed, partially yanked back down a passageway, and eaten alive (we see the creature ravenously tearing away at her abdomen -- with bloody/gory results).
  • Juno falls into a crevice, lands in a body of water, comes face to face with a creature, and stabs it there, with bloody results in the water.
  • Cave dweller creatures surround Sarah and Juno who then battle the creatures that jump on and attempt to bite them. The women hit and bash the creatures, with one smashing a head to a rock, another delivering a crotch kick, a pickax going into a head, and Sarah gouging out the sightless eyes of another creature. All of that has very bloody/gory results, but it's quickly edited so any such views are fleeting before being replaced by the next quick view, etc.
  • A woman drives a pickax into the leg of another woman who earlier wronged her, leaving her there wounded just enough that the creatures will get her. As the first leaves, she then hears the sounds of the second screaming (after we see her confronting many of the creatures).
  • Sarah crawls through a slope of bones trying to make her way to daylight.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • While not a traditional weapon, a pickax is used to threaten, wound or kill the humanoid creatures and wound another human. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see bullet holes in a street sign.
  • Sarah pulls out a bloody knife from some carnage.
  • Sarah strikes a large cave dweller with a makeshift club, hitting it several times, killing it (with bloody/gory results).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to occasionally thick accents and/or some bad audio recording or reproduction, some of the dialogue could not be understood. That said, we hear the following phrases: "It's f*cking freezing," "Long live the f*cking queen," "It's f*cking mental," "I'm an English teacher, not a f*cking tomb raider," "F*ck off," "I am f*cking relaxed," "Don't f*cking touch me," "Don't pin that f*cking sh*te on me," "F*cking kidding me," "What the f*ck /do you think you're doing/was that?" "It's f*cking useless," "You're a f*cking genius," "That's f*cking disgusting," "F*ck it," "Oh f*ck," "F*ckers," "Turn that sh*te off," "Don't give a sh*te," "You all look like sh*t," what sounded like "You're a d*ck," "She's a piece of work," "Cheeky bitch" (said playfully), "Bastard," "I feel like road kill" (hung-over), "Don't piss it off," "Smart ass," "You selfish cow" and "Hurt like hell.
  • The film might inspire some kids to go cave exploring.
  • Juno wears a midriff revealing top.
  • The women drive fast and aggressively through some mountainous and wooded dirt roads.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Sarah's car drifts over into the opposing lane and crashes headfirst into another car, resulting in two poles from it penetrating Sarah's windshield. We see one pole erupt from the back of a front seat headrest, with bloody results. We don't see the bodies, but Sarah's husband and daughter are killed in this.
  • As Sarah looks out a cabin window, a pole suddenly blasts through it (but this is just a nightmare).
  • A flock of birds suddenly takes flight.
  • A flock of bats suddenly takes flight and swarm around one woman on their way out of the cave.
  • A person jumps down and startles others.
  • Sarah turns and someone is suddenly there.
  • One of the cave dweller creatures is suddenly behind some of the women.
  • A creature suddenly attacks one of the women.
  • A dead body suddenly falls in front of another person.
  • A creature suddenly pops down from above.
  • A large truck blasts its horn as it passes a parked car.
  • Sarah turns and suddenly finds another woman in the truck with her.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and scary music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to occasionally thick accents and/or some bad audio recording or reproduction, some of the dialogue could not be understood. That said, we hear at least 43 "f" words (1 possibly used sexually), 15 "s" words (some said as "sh*te"), 1 possible slang term using male genitals (d*ck"), 2 asses, 1 hell, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Jesus," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to occasionally thick accents and/or some bad audio recording or reproduction, some of the dialogue could not be understood.
  • When asked, it sounded like Holly said something about "f*cking" Juno (or maybe the men she's had), and that she wants babies later in life, but we couldn't make out the exact dialogue.
  • Due to the cold, we can see the shape of Sarah's nipples under her top.
  • Trying to distract Sarah who's panicking after getting stuck in a small passage, one woman makes a joke about how one brings another person to orgasm. She then says you tickle their something (we couldn't understand the words regarding the type of person or what gets tickled, despite the joke being repeated).
  • We see what looks like the bare butt of one of the humanoid cave dweller creatures.
  • Spoiler Alert: Sarah learns (through another character) that Juno had an affair with Sarah's husband.
  • We see the bare breasts of a female humanoid, cave dweller creature.
  • Juno shows some filth-covered cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • None (not including the pot smoking).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sarah's car drifts over into the opposing lane and crashes headfirst into another car, resulting in two poles from it penetrating Sarah's windshield. We see one pole erupt from the back of a front seat headrest, with bloody results. We don't see the bodies, but Sarah's husband and daughter are killed in this.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How people react to adverse situations.
  • Exploring caves.
  • Whether such creatures could exist in a cave system.
  • Losing family members in an accident.
  • Juno's comment that if there's no risk (in doing things like spelunking), what's the point.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Sarah's car drifts over into the opposing lane and crashes headfirst into another car, resulting in two poles from it penetrating Sarah's windshield. We see one pole erupt from the back of a front seat headrest, with bloody results. We don't see the bodies, but Sarah's husband and daughter are killed in this.
  • Holly doesn't follow the rules and goes ahead, ending up falling down a hole and hitting the wall hard on the way down, but she lives. However, when we next see her, a bone is protruding from her pants leg, and when that's cut away, we see a very bad leg wound (bloody and open with the bone sticking out). To put on a splint, one woman must first push the bone back into the leg (with additional bloody results as well as screaming on Holly's part and the sound of the bone cracking, etc.).
  • A creature suddenly attacks one of the women, biting her on the neck (with very bloody results). Another woman tries to save the first and struggles with the creature, with them pulling the wounded woman's body back and forth. The second slams a pickax or something similar into that creature, but then another shows up and she must battle it, also striking it several times (with bloody results, killing it).
  • Having just battled and killed a creature, a woman hears a sound behind her, quickly spins with her pickax and accidentally drives it through the neck of one of her comrades, badly wounding her (with very bloody results).
  • One woman runs, falls and hits her head, knocking herself out.
  • Via her video camera's infrared feature, a woman sees more skeletons in the cave, when a fresh human body (someone in her party) suddenly drops down into the pile and many of the creatures descend and feed upon the body, tearing out the flesh, etc. in a very bloody and gory fashion.
  • A creature suddenly pops down from above, attacking one woman, but Juno kills it with her pickax and a snap of its neck, followed by one woman then kicking the dead creature (we don't see the impact).
  • A previously injured woman is discovered and she's severely wounded, with lots of blood on her and coming out of her mouth. Knowing she won't make it but not wanting to be eaten alive, she begs another woman for a mercy killing. The other is reluctant, but then picks up a large rock and slams it down onto the mortally wounded woman's head (we see the motion -- from a distance -- and hear the sound, but don't see the actual impact).
  • A creature jumps on and attacks Sarah who bashes it up against the low ceiling and then proceeds to kill it (we don't see the impact of that latter act).
  • Trying to get away from a creature, Sarah falls into a pit of bloody, mushy muck and stays under for a quite a bit. When she surfaces, she's covered with that muck, but the creature is there in the liquid with her, yanking her back down into it. Sarah partially manages to crawl out, reach for an animal horn, and drive that into the creature, killing it.
  • Sarah strikes a large cave dweller with a makeshift club, hitting it several times, killing it (with bloody/gory results).
  • One woman tries to get away by using ropes and hooks to travel across a "ceiling," but a creature attacks her there, slicing her throat (she manages to kill it as well, but she dies and blood pours from her neck as she hangs backwards).
  • A woman is grabbed, partially yanked back down a passageway, and eaten alive (we see the creature ravenously tearing away at her abdomen -- with bloody/gory results).
  • Juno falls into a crevice, lands in a body of water, comes face to face with a creature, and stabs it there, with bloody results in the water.
  • Cave dweller creatures surround Sarah and Juno who then battle the creatures that jump on and attempt to bite them. The women hit and bash the creatures, with one smashing a head to a rock, another delivering a crotch kick, a pickax going into a head, and Sarah gouging out the sightless eyes of another creature. All of that has very bloody/gory results, but it's quickly edited so any such views are fleeting before being replaced by the next quick view, etc.
  • A woman drives a pickax into the leg of another woman who earlier wronged her, leaving her there wounded just enough that the creatures will get her. As the first leaves, she then hears the sounds of the second screaming (after we see her confronting many of the creatures).
  • Sarah falls and is knocked out.



  • Reviewed July 17, 2006 / Posted August 4, 2006

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