Saturday, May 30, 2015

As Above So Below (2014)

Although it built up a lot of fanfare, and the trailers were super scary, As Above So Below doesn't appear as if it was fully embraced into the motherly arms of the horror community.

And for the about the first hour I honestly had no idea why!

A female version of Indiana Jones embarks on a tour of the Paris catacombs to find a precious physical piece of legend and history (because It Belongs In A Museum!), only to discover the horrors hidden within herself. 

What's the problem here? Just the idea of the Paris catacombs are completely terrifying and anything Indiana Jones should be bank. On top of it all, the small gaggle of urban explorers She Jones gathers to assist her are all crawling through little caves, over bones, and digging themselves a smaller and smaller tunnel under the city. This Is Scary Stuff!

The problem is that in the last half hour of the film the story line fell apart. It gave me the sads.

There I was, cringing in the corner, telling the TV that they should Not be crawling in that little space. I was on the edge of my seat because ceilings began to crumble. Eyes were locked to the TV when the lights began to go out. And then, oh man!, they were lost - AND THEN suddenly I was frowning at the jump scares that meant nothing compared to the actual terror of getting lost in the catacombs. They needed no monsters or blood in this film to make it absolutely horrifying - but in the end they did use these props and that took away all the horror.

This movie is certainly a moralistic tale (if you couldn't already tell by the title) about not being a jerk and forgiving yourself. I feel they tried to make that a part of the movie surprise climax (the moral) but all I found surprising was the disappointing end. 

That all said! I'm glad I finally watched it. I just wished it hadn't ended like it had...

A note of caution: Do not, under no circumstances whatsoever, watch this found footage film hungover. I repeat, do not watch this film hungover! DO watch this film with a large group of friends on a Friday or Saturday night before grumbling about copious libations and their evils. 

This is not a great film choice if you're looking to scare yourself. This one is pretty alright with a crowd of friends and a couple background distractions to keep the energy levels up.

Suggested pairings:

Watch in an uncomfortable place or perhaps somewhere small - like in a closet or large cupboard. Trail mix and drinking something from a CamelBak container will do nicely. Turn all the lights off but keep a flashlight handy (but be sure it's low on batteries so that you have to hit and shake it to find/use the remote).

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