As Above, So Below

11 Sep

As Above, So Below – directed by John Erick Dowdle. Horror/adventure/thriller. 97 minutes Color 2014.


The Story: A young female archeologist inveigles a bunch of daredevil explorers into seeking out a stone lodged in a wall of the Paris catacombs.


What a brilliant thriller! My Goodness. I believed every moment of it. I don’t know how they did it. It looked like the Paris catacombs to me – although I have never actually been in them.

Evidently the catacombs are the ancient boneyards of Paris, and there are miles of them, threading through old collapsed streets. In this spelunker, we are led by our young heroine who is guided through the narrow walls by an alchemy text which must be decoded by her associate, a young man who is deathly afraid of caves.

As the journey beneath the earth continues, each of the members of the crew comes up against his own past horrors. And I wish I could tell you more of the story, because it was exciting and unusual to me. But telling plots for me is a forbiddance. As are entrances to certain subterranean chambers these young folks come across but which much be entered anyhow, of course, so they do.

The piece is beautifully acted by what appears to be an English cast, and I have never seen one of them before, but they are all admirable. The film is remarkably directed and cut. It is shot with a hand-held camera, so those who get mal de mer from such a gadget better stay home. The camera work brings great veracity to the adventure. I felt I was there. And I’m glad I didn’t have to be. But just watching.

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