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Agreed! The end climax became a "You slep wit my man! Bitch I'll cut chu!" ending. It didn't make sense in that they were both such terrific fighters.

If you're being chased by blood sucking cave-mimes, you don't kill the only chica who got your back!

And I'm not sure I liked all the homages to other horror movies, Carrie, Alien, Goonies.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVED THIS MOVIE. The fact that we saw it in a packed theatre of horror/sci-fi geeks only made the viewing that much better, but in retrospect, hmmmm the ending didn't live up to the awesomeness of the beginning, in my opinion.

Then again, any movie with kick-ass womyn is tops in my book.


good review, rich, even if you left out reference to that critical theorist's favorite the vagina dentata, manifest both in the twisty-turny stalactite/stalagmite-covered cave of wonders and in the round tearing mouths of the crawlers... i was desperate to find meaning in the movie after watching it since i felt so dirty and shaken. i'm glad that the more i thought about the movie the more i was able to unpack... and you're right, it's not about the minutiae, is it? it's about grabbing deep into your psyche and pulling bits of your id to the surface-- as the best of horror does. why give birth when you all might come up with are nasty eating machines?

i love this film, and i love your blog.


FAB review for a FAB movie!


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Was it the ghost of Juno? I thought maybe she had survived and there would be an ultimate bitch fight followed by hugs and tears (well not so much those last two). I liked her better than Sarah, despite it being her fault in the first place they were down there. Not exactly a good tourism video either, "Visit the Caves of Appalachia, Where it's Almost Mutant-free!"


Modern day horror movies usually cause me to laugh hysterically (I was yelled at during "White Noise" for giggling), but I must say, "The Descent" truly scared me. I won't remark on the social commentary, because at the time, I didn't care. I was too busy screaming and yelling "Run bitches!!" at the screen.

Considering that one of my greatest fears in life is getting stuck in the Appalachian mountains with murderous inbreds (don't ask), I guess that I was bound to be scared shitless.

PS: How nasty was the coagulated blood pool?

it does sound like alien, though.


Um. I take back what I said before. I can't watch this film...just learned that it's a horror film. Those things give me night terrors.

Great recap of the movie. I'm SO sure that crawler will show up in my dreams.


all i could think of when i saw this movie was 'ginas. everyone has 'ginas. look, they're climbing into a big ol dark, moist 'gina. and the...crawlers looked like giant, flesh-eating sperm, hungry for fresh, unsuspecting 'gina. the moral of the story is, don't go muff diving or surely you'll perish. okay, but seriously? this movie scared the holy fuck out of me. like...yeah. i thought this film would be above that petty 'girlishness' displayed at the end: you fucked my man, now you're creature bait, die bitch. but. yeah. it was great. i haven't been scared like that in a looong time.


We just saw TD this afternoon and I had to read through your take on it and also all the comments to help me process it more. My roommate didn't really care for it (he kept saying how the comparisons to Alien made it not live up to his expectations and he felt disappointed) but I really liked it. What I saw of it. I had to keep scrunching my eyes closed or looking the other way because I hate those moments when you know something's going to jump out at you but it's just a question of waiting for it (like the window that Sarah looks through in the cabin when she "wakes up", duh, it's a window in a horror movie, you just know something's going to fly through it...) And I also liked it despite the fact that these two little bitches saw me walking out of the theater and they pretended to jump and one of them said "Those cave things were tanner than that guy!" Bitches... The 12-year-old girl next to me didn't flinch once the entire movie. And she was totally eating a nasty hot dog with ketchup all over it at the beginning. Are kids today so desensitized to this kind of thing already? I kept thinking, If she can watch this movie then I shouldn't be such a fraidy cat. Boy was I wrong.

Like Buzz, I immediately made the connection between "the descent" not only being about caving, but also to a descent into madness for Sarah. We were discussing the possible reasons Sarah crippled a bitch, and after running through revenge for the affair (which my roommate didn't pick up on until I put 2 and 2 together for him) and for letting Beth die and getting them into that mess in the first place to maybe using Juno as bait so Sarah could excape I thought maybe Sarah just finally lost it and did it because she accepted the fact that they were all going to die in the caves and she didn't want Juno to have a slight opportunity to excape. I didn't even notice that she didn't take her meds with her, so that kind of furthers "the descent into madness" theory.

While I thought the tension and atmosphere were perfect, of course there are little unexplained details that I just can't get past:

- When Sarah excapes up that bone tunnel to the outside, she pushes through the opening (like coming out of the womb perhaps?) like it hasn't been passed through in years, and that's apparently where the crawlers were getting out to hunt for caribou

- The crawlers can't see, yet they are able to scurry through the caves at lightning speed as if they can see where they're going

- The crawlers can't see, and when Sarah was waving her torch around they didn't, oh, I don't know, feel the heat from the fire or anything

- It is totally implausible that there is a gaping hole in the earth that big just a few hundred yards from a dirt road that NO ONE has ever mentioned before. Like there wouldn't be a Starbucks at the cave entrance by now or something

- There sure were a lot of bones in that cave, like way too many. And what was up with that huge pool of blood? It's not like they were operating an abattoir in there or anything. The first time the ladies encounter some bones they are neatly arranged around that little pool of water, so who organized them like that if the crawlers can't see?

- There was only one female crawler. Much like Smurfette, you can't repopulate a species with just one female. And while we got to see her critties (crawler titties) how was it possible that all the crawlers were perfectly Ken dolled in the groin area?

- When did the crawlers hunt? I assume at night, but how did they know it was night if they had no visual capabilities? They couldn't even see a glow stick or a torch right in front of their eyes, so I find it hard to believe they could sense sunlight

- If they were humanoid, how were they able to walk across ceilings?

- How many of those things were there, and if the cave system was so narrow and conceivably small where did they keep coming from? How did the crawlers get there in the first place?

- Who made the cave drawings, and why did they happen to coincidentally show that there were two exits/entrances to said cave system? And why were there drawings of buffalo under the mountain, as if the buffalo were living underground?

- If the "old time" spelunkers left arrows toward the exit, how did they know they were going toward the exit? Did they find an exit to the cave and then go back in to leave arrows for future reference for people they had no idea were going to come into the caves? And if they did find another exit and excape, why didn't they tell anyone else about the cave? Where were the crawlers when they were going through the cave?

- Where was all the oxygen coming from?

- How come Holly, the most zaftig of the models, was able to fit through the first crawl tunnel yet Sarah got stuck?

It's things like this that keep me up at night with confusion. As we were leaving the theater my roommate said "That pretty much made me never want to go caving" and I saw his observation and raised him "That pretty much made me never want to go anywhere near North Carolina."

I'm so glad you were here with this recap, and for the link to buzz's UK/US ending compare. You should audition for Peebert & Fourfour.


OK, my roommate explained to me last night that the "old spelunkers" came in from the other exit and were leaving arrows to mark their way back out of the cave in case they got lost, and that the crawlers probably got them. So, I will erase my previous confusion over this and raise you this one:

- How was Beth able to speak to Sarah after she got a pick through the throat? Oh, and was lying there paralyzed and bleeding profusely through a hole in her neck for about a half an hour before Sarah found her. Still alive.

Chris Hassiotis

The answer to the above questions is "Just because."


Dude, xnowhereboyx, you just think too much, man. There's air underground, and girlfriend had her bag under her when she got stuck. Don't think too deep on this stuff. You'll like it better that way.

Anyway Rich, I just saw this shit. I took your advice, I skipped your review and saw it as soon as I could. And I FUCKING LOVED IT! Fucking classic. Scared the shit out of me and I totally agree with that earlier post--my gut sank when Juno struck out at girlfriend with the pickaxe. Sarah was a stupid ho for killing Juno, tho. Juno fuckin' kicked ass--she could've settled with her later. Her friend was a BITCH for leaving out the "accidental" part. What a cunt. The UK ending is way better, she got what was coming to her. Whatever. The DVD shall be mine.

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Sarah is a bitch

Sarah was a stupid ho for killing Juno, tho. Juno fuckin' kicked ass--she could've settled with her later. Her friend was a BITCH for leaving out the "accidental" part. What a cunt.

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In my head I'm hearing this on the stage as a spoken-word performance. I would love to hear this at an open mic or poetry slam!! Beautiful. Provocative. Inspiring. Thanks.

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You are such a smart, accomplished woman and a doggone wonderful person. Your writing is a reflection of your beautiful mind and heart. Brava you!

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