The Descent (2005)

Pros
  • Strong opening scene paves way for the rest of the film
  • All female cast is surprisingly refreshing as well as helping create a bit more helplessness
  • The groups internal turmoil plays a huge part and it works extremely well, more exciting to watch than the creatures themselves
  • Juno does a great job as the leader of the group, very strong leader
  • The director does a great job capturing a sense of isolation and claustrophobia
  • Production design of the cave system looks fantastic
  • The movie also takes the time to establish its characters and offers enough backstory to give them depth
  • The original ending is one of the best ever in the horror genre, psychologically creepy and harrowing, and, of course, memorable
  • Some truly heart-pounding scenes, mostly from the violence from the human characters as opposed to the creatures
  • The descent into the cave system or...the descent into madness
  • Finding the old pin in the cave, meaning the cave system has already been discovered.....but then why hasn't it been published before now?
  • The gore is used sparingly which makes it more effective and not used too heavily to the point where it numbs the viewer
  • The real excitement comes from the actions and reactions of the girls and their drama, rather than the creatures
  • This is a tale of survival of the fittest and what a tale it is!
  • One of the best modern day horror movies, sure to go down as a cult classic

Cons
  • The creature design is just okay, they also make very odd/lame sounds that were not scary nor original
  • There also might be a bit too much exposure of the creatures themselves (which makes them less scary and intimidating)
  • A few cheap/predictable scares at times

Score: 9/10

One of the best modern day horror movies ever made, as well as one of the best-reviewed horror movie of the decade. The tension is high, the characters are strong, and the atmosphere is nice and thick, The Descent does just about everything right. Of all the 'isolation' horror movies being made, this is hands down the crown jewel! The production designs of the cave system look fantastic, they were all man made of course, but it gave them room to create some truly frightening scenarios.

As I said before, the real highlight of The Descent comes from the group tension between the women and their history together, which just happens to hit a rough patch during this time of crisis in the cave. They're forced to work together, even though previous drama has surfaced creating some very thick tension amongst the group. Plus, there is something else about having an all-female cast that makes the movie a bit more harrowing and interesting, probably because when you think of violence, you typically think of men committing the violence or being violently killed. But that being said, the woman certainly are up for the challenge, and the movie just would not have worked with men in this type of situation.

And as a final note, the ending of The Descent is simple, yet brilliant (from what I have read, most people were expecting more), it's actually one of my personal favorite horror movie endings!