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August 10, 2006



Great review Rich! The movie looks fucking awesome!


Excellent! Saw this last Sunday and was hoping you'd review it soon.


I didn't read your review because I am curious about seeing this movie. What I am more curious about, however, is why it was so well reviewed but only made like 8 million its opening weekend last weekend. I think the commercials have scared people away with the whole "It's so much grosser than Saw. In fact, the movie is just one big gross-out. Come get grossed out! Oh, and it's also scarier than being locked in a room with Vincent Libretti for two hours. Scary!" I don't mind a bit of gore, but when the commercial says it's going to gross me out I kind of heed the warnings. Maybe I can get someone to see it with me and hold my hand.... {Excellent cross-reference to Cho, if that's what you were going for}


Rich, I wasn't going to see this, but you might have convinced me. Oh the power of the internet...and four four!


Damn, Rich, what can't you do?! Excellent, excellent review, and even with the spoilers and gore, I am still going to go see it, and I am still going to have my lunch!


thanks for the shout-out, rich. great piece, on an incredibly deserving subject (GO. OUT. AND. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. BITCHES.).

one quick thing to mull/ignore: you note that "the title is as much about cave diving as the trajectory of its characters' fates". i have a slightly different take, which might also explain our differing of opinion on the UK vs. US ending debate: i always considered the literal descent to be a specific metaphor for Sarah's descent, into madness -- not for the group as a whole. from the first scene onward, she is our guide into the story -- and when we see that her medication is left by her bedside (knowing full well that it's going to be sorely missed later), we know that she can't necessarily be trusted (hence the "did she see something, did she not" spookiness and the final "escape dream"). i think the UK version's final moments bring her descent to its nadir, which i find very satisfying -- she finally accepts her madness, and fuck if she's going to fight it anymore.

either way, you're totally on point: the movie's way too good to argue minutae. and your LITTLE MAN comment made me pee a little.

High Post

Off topic: Did anyone notice Bravo aired this Wednesday's PR last night. At least twice It was fabulous dahlings. Guess I'll have to wait til next Mon to read Rich's commentary and his audience reactions.

Nice title via Margaret Cho!


I think your review was far better than the movie - as was the UK ending. I wanted them all to die.


You are so cool, sexy, right on target about the movie and have two wonderful cats. However enough of the vag-I want some movies and pics of the pussies!


Think you could expound some more, Rich? Boring.


I loved your review of "Mysterious Skin" and "NOES 2" but I thought you lost the thread here. Just wasn't as good as your usual stuff.


Hi, Rich. Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

I was looking forward to what you would have to say about 'The Descent.' I totally adored this movie.

I did my own little half-assed review on my blog, but you are much better at this sort of thing. Mine is mostly like "OMG YOU HAVE TO GO SEE THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW OH IT IS SOOOO GROOOOD AND AWESOME AND GROOOOOD," to, er, paraphrase.

Anyway, thanks for another excellent review. Looking forward to the ProjRun recap - do you know that I don't even bother to watch ANTM and ProjRun because your recaps are way better than the real thing? Indeed.

Take care.


as buzz knows well, i am his southern scardey hag, i am not good with the horror so this review actually helps me because I know what to expect and now i am even more likely to see the movie-at least i will on dvd so that i can see both endings and find someone to watch it with me and soothe me after. :)


ha ha grood, you totally stole that from Strong Bad.

James Derek Dwyer

Rich you're wasting your talent on this one- it's a terrible movie. Hopefully the cheaper sequel will have an SUV of soccer moms tumble down the crevasse.


Luv ya. I always enjoy your writing, your wit and your enthusiasm.


I haven't seen this movie yet. Had no plans to. Now I'm so intrigued by the title of this post, which I did not read because I SO want to see this movie now.

Ditto what CM said.

Washington Cube

You warned me away (having not seen it yet,) but I read on, wanting to know what you thought. Really superior reviewing here. Given the altered versions (U.K. and U.S.) brought to mind another film that had a bleak end (European cut) and that was The Vanishing which the U.S. version totally ruined. I'm looking forward to seeing this. In terms of audience participation, I have to be in the mood for that, but a film like this? Yes. We get that in D.C. as well and sometimes it can totally make a film.


Jeremy -



Oooh, perfect timing. We just saw this film yesterday. There were only four of us in the whole theatre. Too bad for everyone else cos' this film rocked our worlds. I had not read anything about it, so I was expecting something scary, yes, but very different. During the first 30 mins, I was starting to get bored. Good point, Rich, about the male perspective on female bonding. Booorring. I was ready to gag on all the gushiness. Anyhoo.

I had no idea there were going to be freaks involved. When the first goon appeared in the shadows, my attention span shot up. Whoo effin' hoo! I got scared and I got scared good and fast. This movie is a fantastic horror flick and fun way to spend a couple of hours. Yeah, I had a problem with some of the decisions made, but whatever. We left a little shaken, dazed and happy that it was only a film.

Dave Roz

I downloaded this movie when it was released in Australia and the biggest difference this movie went from any other horror flick was that you actually believed the motivations.

When the first monster is killed, and the first girl is killed by the first-monster-killer, my gut sunk, "fuck, I woulda done that too."

There weren't a lot of "dumb girl evades monster" moments in this film. The film maker just made everything believable. I could put myself in any of the characters shoes and understand their motivations. That is what made is great for me.

But on another note:

Dude. Everyone loves your PR posts. I know that it is easier for you to get them out on Monday, but they don't hold the same resonance.

You were the turn-to guy for witty PR wrap-ups.... everyone on the web turned to you for them.... but by Monday, we aren't even thinking of last weeks episode. We are living for the next Wednesday with the preview of that episode fresh in our minds.


Sorry. The Project Runway posts go up on Mondays. No one else seems to have a problem with that, if the comments sections of each week's posts are an indication. If you do have a problem, there are plenty of other people who get their recaps up earlier -- check out Blogging Project Runway for link upon link.


I don't know, I wanted to like it more. I think the commercials comparing it to Alien set the bar way too high for me. The UK ending is way better cuz it does give a little more weight to the birthday cake image.
I think it was shots like Sarah after the (literal) blood bath w/ torch in her hand, and the similar one w/ Juno.
Something I AB-SO-FUCKIN-LUTELY loved was the rapist attack--you know what I'm talking about? Girls are often told to gouge out a dude's eyes w/ her thumbs if she's being raped or some shit. And the crawler gettin' his eyes poked was mass rad.
The crawlers themselves, tho . . . I don't know, not that scary. And I wish a lot more of it had been in their minds--like Juno had been leading women down there for a long time to murder them or something.
But, like you said, its way better than all those crap-ass horror movies that have been coming out lately.

(Side note: Fer real, some dude's complain' 'bout your recaps comin' on Mondays? What a douche!)


I'm nevah gonna see this (I'm a punk and it's waaay too scary for me) but your review was great!

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