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The Descent

One word...gore.
By TOM MEEK  |  August 1, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

THE DESCENT: Every arterial spray and bone crack makes a point.

Few gore fests (including Hostel and Saw) make me cringe, but this one had my stomach on edge even before the team of spelunking sports babes winds up face to face with albino cannibals two miles underground. It’s everything The Cave (2005) might have been and more. Neil Marshall (who mined similar terrain in Dog Soldiers) works masterfully on a small budget to invoke claustrophobia and paranoia as the squad squeezes through narrow pipes and ultimately gets sealed in. Soon after, a fall results in a shinbone grotesquely protruding through the skin, and the women stumble into a dank ossuary of sorts. The ensuing carnage is ample but not gratuitous; every arterial spray and bone crack makes a point. In such circumstances, it might be too much to ask for character development, though Aussie dancer/singer Natalie Mendoza holds her own as the can-do leader, and Shauna Macdonald prevails as the weak link who finds her inner Ripley.

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